FEV Contributions and Value to Nicaragua
“In a week’s visit, we identified over a hundred different species of birds…”
“One of the most interesting aspects of the task was the chance to see familiar spring and summer birds of North Carolina in their winter homes in Nicaragua. The mountains around San Ramón had lots of other wonders for those of us interested in nature: unusual trees and flowers of the wet forests above San Ramón.
Dave Catlin, naturalist, Springfield, Missouri
My trip to the Finca Esperanza Verde and San Ramon was a broadly educational and personally significant experience. Like Elderhostel programs, it had an educational component that broadly but deeply covered environmental, cultural, and historical issues but was beautifully combined with physically active activities and service opportunities. I’ve done several Elderhostel trips and found the educational components beneficial but with this trip to Nicaragua, I had a much more significant educational experience than I have ever had on an Elderhostel trip. I was glad to have time for relaxation and reflection. I think this ecotour to Nicaragua would make a great Elderhostel trip.
We took 13 University of New Mexico students to Finca Esperanza Verde as part of a three-week study tour to Nicaragua last summer. It was one of the real highlights of our trip. The students had a wonderful time exploring the forest trails, enjoying wonderful (and healthy) locally produced food, meeting the local people who came for the campfire fiesta in the evening, and just relaxing and enjoying the spectacular mountain views. But they also learned a lot from the staff and community people, including the importance of fair-trade coffee production, the principles of responsible eco-tourism, and the fascinating history of Nicaragua. The Finca is a real show place for sustainable development and conservation of water, energy and other resources.
Ken Carpenter, Ph.D.
International Programs & Studies
University of New Mexico
Once again you and your entire organization have succeeded in creating an incredible experience for Durham Academy students and their faculty chaperons. This year’s group of eight students and two chaperons returned with the same effusive praise as all of the rest, and more importantly, returned to their lives here in the States changed by what they experienced.
Jordan Adair, Durham Academy
I am one of the adults who took a group of students from DA to Nicaragua during Spring Break. I can’t begin to tell you about the wonderful experience that I had while in Finca Esperanza Verde and in San Ramon.
Your group of tour guides were incredibly caring and professional in the way they explained everything to us and the way the took care of us. You should feel proud of them. I also brought back with me great memories from our stay in San Ramon. I had the honor to stay with Melania but having met all the host families, I have to tell you that the selection of the guests houses was very well thought. Thanks for giving the people in Nicaragua an opportunity to better themselves in various ways. I am definitely going back as soon as I get a chance.
Mercedes Almodovar, Durham Academy
This was my fifth trip with students to San Ramon. Since the moment I first met the Sister Community representatives in the Managua airport that first year through our final embraces and tearful farewells as we once again pulled from San Ramon this year, I have been amazed at the quality of this program. It is extremely well-organized and run by caring professionals whose only wish seems to be making our trip a positive, memorable experience.
My students always return totally energized to continue their support of the many worthwhile programs already in place in San Ramon thanks to the Sister Community organization. They are moved by their encounters with the children, excited about communicating in Spanish with so many people of all ages, charmed by the enthusiam and affection of their student guides, blown away by the beauty of the farm, and so happy with their host families.
They rave about the food they get to eat at the farm, they love all the workshops they get to attend, they are always inspired by their talk with Cesar Davila, and they come back with many spectacular photos that they can’t wait to share with their classes here at East.
We are so happy that we have been able to be a part of the Sister School program, and our visits to our sister school have been really special. My students can see first hand that they are making in difference in the quality of these children’s education. They really have their eyes opened about the way so much of the world lives, and they are humbled by their responsibility to effect change. I am already planning my trip for next year.
East Chapel Hill HS
It was incredible. I learned so much and we were blessed with great weather, great nature sightings, great food, great company, and Nia at the Finca. My dream came true…..Words cannot express the gratitude and feelings of the past week.
Kate Finlayson–Nia teacher
FEV reopens Feb. 10th
FEV in Oprah Magazine
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Zucchino, writes about his trip to FEV in the UU World, Fall, 2011.
The rutted road continues up a lush mountainside, past banana plants heavy with fruit and tree canopies inhabited by howler monkeys and sloths, to an outpost high in the rain forest. Carved out of the mountain 4,000 feet up, the setting offers spectacular views of the Dariense mountain range and the green valley far below.