Two Shipshewana natives are participating in the Goshen College Study-Service Term (SST) in Nicaragua during this summer, along with 21 other students.
Caleb J. Frey, son of Neal and Christine Frey of Shipshewana, is majoring in molecular biology/biochemistry. He is a 2010 graduate of Westview High School and attends Shore Mennonite Church.
Kyle R. Mishler, son of Robert and Kenda Mishler of Shipshewana, is majoring in business. He is a 2010 graduate of Westview High School and attends Shore Mennonite Church.
They left for Nicaragua on April 25 and will return to the United States on July 23. Deanna Risser and Keri Swartzendruber are leading the unit. Risser is manager of business operations and budget analyst at Goshen College.
Nicaragua is located between Costa Rica and Honduras, and is slightly smaller than the state of New York. Students will hear from speakers about the country's culture and history. They will go on field trips, including to places that were directly affected, on both sides, by the war during the 1980s. They will also appreciate the country's rich biodiversity, rain and cloud forests, active and inactive volcanoes and undeveloped beaches. Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the country, though it is still smaller than tourism in other Central American countries.
Students are spending the first six weeks in Jinotepe, a city outside of the capital of Managua for their language study, but will make several trips into the capital. Students will then be placed in service assignments around the country during the second half of the term. Students will live with host families during both their study and service portions of SST, including living with Roman Catholics, who make up the majority of Nicaraguans, and with Evangelicals, who are a growing minority.
Since the first SST units went to Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guadeloupe in 1968 and began one of the country's unique international education programs, more than 7,100 students and 230 faculty leaders have traveled to 22 countries; the college currently organizes SST units to study and serve in China, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Senegal, Peru, Cambodia, Egypt and Northern Indiana (in the Latino community). The program's uncommon combination of cultural education and service- learning remains a core part of the general education program and has earned citations for excellence.