I absolutely believe this trip made an incredible lasting impact on my daughter. Not only giving her amazing memories to look back on and new friendships to cherish but it gave her a new level of respect, appreciation and gratitude. Opening her mind and eyes to a new culture and way of life, broadening her compassion for others, giving her a sense of pride that she can make a difference.
She was very happy to be part of a volunteer organization which is clearly accomplishing real things and having an impact on educational resources in this remote area.
My daughter had a truly transformative experience with ODFL. She said this was the best trip she’s ever had due to many factors: – bonding with new friends; traveling without family!; experiencing a new culture; learning what it is to be a minority. She came back and learned what had happened with the Black Lives Matter. Her immediate reaction was to observe that as a young blonde female in a rural Hispanic town she started to understand what it must feel like to be outside the norm of society. She could not get this experience without going on a trip like this in which she was supported and safe.
Fantastic experiences bonding with the other travelers and chaperones and meeting wonderful people in Nicaragua. Exposure to people that have very little material things / comforts very eye-opening.
My daughter says she wants to return to Nicaragua after college for a year to work on Spanish and help the people.
ODFL created a meaningful possibility for our kid to contribute
My son feels this type of organization (either SOL or ODFL) could be a part of his life’s work. He wants to research ways to get more involved!
I would highly recommend ODFL
I would definitely recommend the trip to other families. My child had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the culture. She also felt very good about being able to help out. Thank you so much.
I absolutely love what ODFL is about and as an educator, I would like to see all students accept this challenge and make a difference.
ODFL leaders are superb (Cathy is a class act!). Mr. Freeman is truly inspiring as well.
It opened her eyes to another culture, provided confidence in her ability to get along without her parents, make friends, make sound decisions, navigate outside the U.S.
Through the tears on the way home, my daughter said now she understands why people said that the trip would be life changing. She was feeling overwhelmed and contemplative. Although she was talking to us, it felt like she was in her very private cocoon. She recalled how beautiful and green everything is, how nice the people are, and how they worked as a community and not for individual gain. Throughout the ride home, she repeated “how little the people had, but yet they were so happy.” “We have so much here and they have so little, but seem to be happier.” She also told us how many wonderful friends she had made, and hoped that they would stay connected. When she returns to school and her hectic schedule, I hope that she will not lose the awareness and insight she has gained through this trip. Kids have so much and they do not really realize it. I hope this makes her think twice on some of her decisions, and that she doesn’t need all “this stuff” to be happy. Also, I hope it soften her edges through understanding when dealing with people less fortunate.
She was so happy and kept telling what happened on this trip. She will go again for sure.
It gave her a chance to see how people can live with much less than many people in the U. S. do.
My son made several comments about how different life in Nicaragua is than his life in Los Altos. How wonderful for him to understand that.
It was a great opportunity for him to be exposed to a different culture.
From what I heard and talked to our daughter about, the trip left a very strong impression on her. She was able to see how other cultures live and make do with few or little resources.
The relationships that were forged both with the other students and with the families in Matagalpa were very real. In fact, my daughter has suggested wanting to work with Seeds of Learning, perhaps, on a longer trip independent of ODFL between school years.