A Trip to Remember — The 2016 T.A.S.K Nicaragua Trip


Photo credits to Elizabeth Loh

Pillowcase made for the Nicaragua Trip by junior Hannah Renner-Bennet

Written by Elizabeth Loh

On Friday, February 12th, a group of Pacific Grove High School students and staff, lead by Mrs. Gamecho, traveled to Nicaragua to build connections between communities, while collaborating on projects to improve the quality of life for many in Nicaragua. During their stay, they visited five cities and about 650 children. This annual trip to Nicaragua is part of T.A.S.K., or “Together Achieving Successful Kindness,” a program developed by Ms Gamecho 12 years ago. This is Ms Gamecho’s 8th year of putting this trip to Nicaragua together — a trip that has become a true collaborative effort between a number of departments and classes at Pacific Grove High School. The AVID classes raised money for teaching supplies to give to the orphanages, the Spanish classes wrote Valentines, the Art classes decorated pillowcases and “buddy bag tags,” and the Athletic Department donated sports equipment that will be used by the children in Nicaragua. The trip, which Ms Gamecho believes improves year upon year, was so successful because of the great relationships, trust, and respect prevalent between those who traveled and the people they visited. To Ms Gamecho, what stood out to her most as the most special part of the trip was when she was greeted with “Welcome home,” by the group’s hosts in Nicaragua, which demonstrates the bonds this trip has created in the past. Zach Goodwin, a PGHS junior,  twice traveled to Nicaragua through T.A.S.K., and “would seriously recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in travel, service, or practicing their Spanish. However, this is not just a tourist trip – we do a lot of exhausting work. It isn’t just a vacation.” Despite that, Goodwin, along with the other student participants, highly valued the experience that they gained through their February Break experience. Like Ms Gamecho, Zach believed that the most valuable part of the trip was “seeing how grateful everyone was for the things we brought, but also seeing how even without many material things everyone there was so happy and hospitable, as well as bonding with the other people on the trip.” If a service trip to Nicaragua appeals to you, don’t be afraid to check out next year’s adventure — each trip is better than the last.