[Ed's note: Dave Campbell (Middlebury '09) is headed to Nicaragua with Lacrosse the Nations today, and he's been kind enough to keep us updated throughout the experience. Below is his intro to what is sure to be a moving and rewarding time in Central America.]
While I sit in a sunny room within a mile or two of Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall, and the Commons, my thoughts are of La Chureca, Nicaragua, a place where a community of over 1500 people live in a garbage dump, children run barefoot through fields of medical waste and broken glass, and fires burn incessantly. It is a severely desperate place that seems too inhumane to be real.
In a couple hours, with a lacrosse stick and passport in hand, I will board a plane at Logan International and head to Nicaragua. There, I will join a small group of Lacrosse the Nations (LtN) volunteers who have committed to helping the community of La Chureca. Following up on LtN’s pilot trip in January, we will pick up the dozens of sticks and balls that we left with local organizers, hop into the back of a pickup truck, and drive into La Chureca. There, we will gather up as many kids from the community as possible, walk to the field, and play. The most important things that we bring are energy and compassion. With those we strive toward a goal of helping children to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence through the simple joy of being a kid and playing a new game.
I encourage you to take the time to check out Lacrosse the Nations, watch the mini-documentary, and check back to next week for a more thorough followup of LtN’s time in Nicaragua.