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A Summer in Nicaragua

Author: Caroline Kavanaugh

Caroline first came to Nicaragua in 2015 with Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana, and she has been coming back to Nicaragua ever since! She interned in the summer of 2017 and again this past summer. She is a junior at Villanova University studying Civil Engineering and hopes to one day use her engineering degree to help provide a clean, sustainable source of water for those in need!

Joy. A word that usually makes us think of Christmas time. It was like Christmas in July when I spent my summer interning on the Partnership team at Amigos for Christ. The excitement of waking up each day to new gifts in the form of people, experiences, sights, and more allowed me to end the summer with an overwhelming feeling of joy. Every time I go down to Nicaragua, I leave with a full heart (and a fuller belly from all of Dona Patricia’s delicious food!).
This summer, having been there for such a long period of time as an intern, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and create strong friendships with the Amigos staff members. Looking beyond the Amigos team, the relationships we were able to cultivate with the community members week after week allowed me to establish meaningful connections I know I will value for a lifetime. When I was leaving El Espabel this summer (to say I was teary eyed would be the understatement of the century), the mother and eldest son of the family I spent most of my time cried alongside me. In that moment, I realized why God had brought me down there for the summer. It was to create meaningful relationships and leave an imprint on people’s hearts who have left an imprint on mine. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, hand signs, Spanglish, and laughter helped to create friendships that will last a lifetime.

Getting to know the group members each week was another gift. Witnessing others being transformed by their weekly experience reminded me how blessed I was to be there and what an amazing and impactful organization I have the honor to be a part of.


Another one of my favorite parts of the intern program was the shared faith amongst the other interns and staff members. Monday morning staff meetings and our Partnership team meetings never felt like “work” because we always began with praise and worship or a prayer. Knowing these relationships were built on something as meaningful as our faith, makes them all the more special and never-ending. It is such an honor to be able to interact with so many bright spots on a daily basis, whether that be staff, community, or group members. Working Juntos with people so on fire with the Lord, we were able to accomplish amazing feats.

This internship allowed me to learn so much about myself this summer, who I want to be as a person, and what I want to do with my life. It opened my eyes and taught me that the Lord has put a passion in my heart to help communities in need.


But ultimately, I have learned that—across all races, genders, nationalities, and ages—everyone just wants to be seen, known, and loved. This is how we can help those who are hurting, whether they live on the opposite side of the globe or right next door to us.

Christ showed us what true sacrificial love is, and because of Jesus’ example, we are able to help our brothers and sisters in need. Amigos for Christ has lived out this truth so well these past 20 years. By providing safe drinking water and clean bathrooms, they shower communities (pun definitely intended) with the steadfast love God has first shown us.

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