PENSACOLA, Fla. – West Florida volleyball spent their entire spring semester working toward one goal that led to an unforgettable opportunity. It had been four years since UWF volleyball’s last international trip, and on May 4th-12th, seven players and eight staff members embarked upon a tour through Bring It Promotions that allowed them to extend their hands to the country of Nicaragua, located in Central America.
After months of raising money through bake sales, car washes, and phon-a-thons, the team then continued their quest by seeking out donations of specific needed items to bring along. Each member of the traveling party packed an extra 50 pound bag that included items strictly for donation to the citizens of Nicaragua. These items were then distributed at different locations throughout the trip for use by the children and families.
The tour began with a flight into Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua, where the team spent a whole day getting acclimated to the country and its people. A city tour allowed the group to learn about the country’s history, as well as develop a visual depiction of what challenges are faced by the individuals living in Nicaragua. A visit to the Masaya Volcano also entertained the group before their move to another city.
The team then enjoyed a three-day stint in San Juan del Sur, located on the coast of Nicaragua where they participated in community outreach programs with the locals. Different small groups visited a vast array of places, and were able to connect with groups of local adults and children, and assist them with their needs. San Juan also held fun activities for the group that included sailing, fishing, surfing, and even yoga on the beach.
The final days of the trip included a stop in Jinotepe that allowed the group to visit a local orphanage where they were able to spend a few hours reading, playing outside, and helping with the children’s everyday activities. Granada was then the final stop where there was time to shop, hike through a “cloud forest”, as well as take a boat tour through the islands of Granada on Lake Nicaragua.
The team members were each designated a day to write an entry for the trip’s blog where more details about each day and personal experiences can be found. The blog can be accessed by clicking here. In addition, a photo gallery from the entire trip has been added with pictures taken by members of the team and staff throughout the eight-day journey, and can be found here. More photos will be added as they become available.