Students seek donations toward Nicaraguan service trip

March 9th, 2006 by Adam

One of many student organizations at Plymouth State University that support social services both in the United States and abroad, the Nicaragua Club truly lives up to the university’s motto, Ut Prosim, “That I may serve.”

More than a dozen students from the Nicaragua Club will again be traveling to the Central American country for a two-week service trip this spring. The club, which has been actively supporting Nicaraguan causes for 10 years, will spend one week in the capital city of Managua and one week in a rural mountain village.

During past trips, students have volunteered for various projects, including agricultural work, medicinal gardening, child care, social service and construction. This year, students will perform social service work for Mujeres en Accion, a Latina women’s group that supports women, families and children in need. Students will live with host families at each location.

Traveling from Plymouth to Nicaragua, one of the poorest nations in Central America, is a cathartic experience for the club’s members, many of whom speak only limited Spanish. In preparation for the trip, students spend months learning about the country’s culture and people.

According to club president Heather Dowd, the club’s past trips to Nicaragua have been “life changing and positively influential,” providing a chance for students to experience life in a third-world country and help improve the social and economic lives of the people who live there. Dan Haines, a club member who has taken several trips through Central and South America in the past, says the journey is “not only about traveling, but being aware of the political and economic circumstances in the country.”

This year’s trip will be the largest ever: 14 students, as well as the club’s advisor, computer science professor George Sichelstiel, are currently raising money to pay for air fares and donations to host families to cover food and lodging. Club members organize and participate in a number of fundraisers throughout the year, and are currently accepting donations toward the May 22-June 5 trip.

For more information about the Nicaragua Club, or to make a donation toward this year’s trip, please contact Dan Haines at or Stacie Clemens at (781) 248-2946 or

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.