do I care?” Helping others not just in my community but also around
the world has been one of my reasons to live. I have finally had one of
the many reason to lead the world or my community. I personally believe
in Karma and helping others both locally and internationally hoping it
will come back to me. My trip to Nicaragua is an example of my belief
Well, I joined a club named “Building
with Books” (BwB) which is a non-profit organization that encourages
teenagers to get involved in their community, learning about the economic
problems of other countries - especially developing countries, and finally,
building schoolhouses in order to promote education and erase illiteracy
rate around the world “one block at a time.”
I joined this club not because it will look great on my college application,
but because it brings joy and happiness to me. Helping other people had
made me realize that I can do something to change my community, and the
smile and appreciation I get from the people I help is a long lasting
blessing that has kept me going in life.
Like previous years, Building with Books takes students and teachers from
the United States to developing countries each year with one mission in
mind - to help build a schoolhouse. Last summer - 2004, I was fortunate
enough to go with other groups of students from New York and Connecticut
to help build a schoolhouse in Maderas Negras, Nicaragua. This exciting
trip was referred to as “Trek to knowledge.” We traveled from
the United States to Central America knowing the poor living conditions
there but we were all determined to contribute to education and to help
the villagers of Maderas Negras.
We were each paired up with host family, which was part of the experience.
It was a great one because you get to live and spend time with a totally
new family. Not only that, the living conditions were poor, but it was
really peaceful. I had never felt so much peace then when I was in Nicaragua.
We were not exposed to all the material things that we were used to in
America, but we had a sense of family and community. The coming together
as one family and community was great.
I remembered that every night, when we finished working under the heating
sun, we would go home and teach our host family - brothers, sisters and
parents - how to read in English and in return, they would teach us Spanish.
We also worked hand-in-hand with the villagers to build the school. The
villagers worked eight hours every day while we worked 4 hours each day.
Their enthusiasm to bring education to their children helped us to keep
going, and gave us the strength to build the school. It also made us think
twice about our life and how we could appreciate the education that we
receive here in the United States differently, which in turn makes me
sad when I see lots of students throwing away the opportunities they have.
Even the parents were willing to learn as much as the children. We found
the families bound with the community, and our host families hoping our
friendships would last forever.
I would encourage everyone and anyone to help others in their community
because they never know what they might do to change their community or
the world. As for me, I will continue to help others in my community and
I have made it my occupation.
If it is possible for other students to participate in activities like
this, I will encourage them to do so because they need to see what is
going on in other countries so that they will appreciate what they have,
and at the same time, helping to bring about positive deeds to others.