Honor students at College of the Canyons are learning about local and global sustainability and strategic international alliances through the “Local to Global” project developed by the Santa Clarita Valley International Program, culminating in a trip to Central America this summer.
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On June 5-10, five COC students from Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Mu Gamma and the Associated Student Government, along with SCVIP President Claudia Acosta and board member Art Moore will travel to Granada, Nicaragua as part of the 2013 Global Collaboration Project.
The groundwork for the trip was laid in 2009, when several COC students traveled to Nicaragua as part of a previous global project, to deliver school supplies to Miravalle School in Granada. While there, they learned that the school had no access to clean water.
Then in 2011, COC’s Phi Theta Kappa students spent a year learning about the lack of access to clean water affecting many communities globally. In response, they raised enough money to purchase a water tank for Miravalle School.
“Through this project, COC students had the opportunity to learn about local and global sustainability issues, took the initiative to fundraise for the water tank and now will have the opportunity to make an impact globally by giving these students and their community access to clean water,” Acosta said.
The tank will be installed during the trip in June and provide enough clean water for 600 people in the community. COC and SCVIP representatives will also donate school supplies and assess how they can help meet the school’s other needs, which currently serves 187 students without a modern kitchen, bathrooms or electricity.
Though the project is coming to fruition in 2013, Acosta noted the contributions of many students, and added that “This is not something that started today.”
The group is accepting funds and donations of school supplies for Miravalle’s students, including pens, markers, crayons and notebooks, as well as flip flops.
While public education in Nicaragua is free, students must provide their own pens and notebooks at a monthly cost of $2, which easily equals a day’s pay for the average parent. Contributions help to keep children in school.
Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to the Santa Clarita Valley International Program, at City Hall on Valencia Boulevard.
Acosta said that the students will make the most of their short time in Nicaragua, with a very rigorous itinerary.
The “Local to Global” connection will be emphasized as they meet with former President Enrique Bolaños, former Vice Minister of Education Tulio Tablada and John Fer, the Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy.
Bolaños spent much of his time in office fighting corruption, and Tablada returned to his native Nicaragua from Kansas to help rebuild the nation’s schools following the civil war of the 1980s.
Acosta said that the goal of this and other international projects at COC is to raise “not just leaders, but global leaders.”
About the Santa Clarita Valley International Program
SCVIP is the local nonprofit sister city organization of Santa Clarita. SCVIP was founded by Carl Boyer, board member of SCVIP. The mission and purpose of SCVIP is to shepherd the creation and development of sister city relationships where education, economic development and cultural awareness may be exchanged, implemented and strengthened.
For more information about SCVIP and the Nicaragua trip, contact Claudia Acosta at 661-755-8015 or visit the SCVIP Facebook page.
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Source: Santa Clarita News