A dozen MU sorority members traveled to rural Nicaragua on June 7 as part of a service trip organized by the MU Panhellenic Association and sponsored by its philanthropic organization, the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.
12 students were picked by a selection committee to help construct a new school in Elena Maria, a rural village of Nicaragua. Those chosen applicants were selected based on who could potentially make the most impact in the Nicaragua project.
Among those who chosen for the Trek in Nicaragua was senior Sarah Trigg, a member of Kappa Delta, who expressed the trip as both a challenge and a joyous time.
“It was the most challenging thing I have ever done when it came to the labor and the heat, but I don't think I've experienced as much laughter and joy in one week,” Trigg wrote in an email. “We laughed all day every day, which helped keep our spirits up!”
In order to fund the trip, the Circle of Sisterhood within PHA held many fundraisers at MU. In September, they sponsored a 5k run, which helped raised $10,000 for the trip, and held everything from Chipotle and YogoLuv fundraisers to T-shirt and bake sales in order to save up the money.
Jamie Beard, PHA vice president for personal relations, said the organization started from humble beginnings.
“In March 2012, it started off as eight members, and we held the meetings in little classrooms on the MU campus,” Beard said, “The organization soon blew up to 80 members, which opened up the opportunity for the trip. It’s all fairly unbelievable.”
Based on their merits and rise of the last two years, there are several ways in which the organization will continue to thrive at the university.
Beard said they will be sponsoring another 5k run, which will both begin and end at the MU Student Center.
Trigg said the trip has affected her in many ways and showed her what most Americans take for granted.
“(The Trek) affects how I look at my family and friends. I value my time with them more and want to focus on spending quality time with them away from distractions," she said. “It also makes me value the things I own in a different way. I feel like we get so caught up, especially in America, about all the stuff we have and we use stuff to get ahead in life and become better than others.”
Trigg also said that the women saw an opportunity to change not only the communities they helped, but also those who attended.
“In Nicaragua, they didn't have as much unnecessary items, and more importantly they didn't base a person's worth on the things they owned but what they could contribute to a friendship and the community.”