Unbreakable community!

“We believe that a worldview bound by borders is outdated and that stopping injustice anywhere is the responsibility of humanity everywhere.” -Invisible Children

Guest blogger, Candida Alas-Ortega, student, Asheville High School

I just want to start off by thanking you for this opportunity as it was truly a blessing to be able to experience something like this. On the trip I was able to do a lot of reflecting… I did some deep thinking about myself, my family, friends, and just life…just being away from everyone and Asheville really put things into perspective in the Dominican Republic.

I didn’t really realize what I wanted to do with my life until this trip.

I discovered my passion for helping people.. especially those who really do truly need encouragement and opportunity. Working in the eye glass clinics with Hannah and being able to hear people’s stories was so special to me. The happinesses that I got when I was able to help someone find the right pair of glasses and how thankful they were, just made me realize that this is what I love to do and this is what makes me happy.

There was one particular lady who just made my day and her name was Elida. She was about 70 years old and she was telling me about her children and grandchildren. It was nice being able to talk to someone I had never met before but still shared so much in common.

The kids from the village were all so sweet and funny! I was amazed at their willingness to help. I worked a day at the construction site and so many kids would ask me what they could do to help or if they could help me take the barrel full of rocks. It made me think about how these kids need more opportunity for a better future.

They do want to see a change and they are willing to do something in order to see this change in their community! That’s when I realized that it’s so important to empower people and to walk with them to help them create change and believe in themselves.

Aside from serving in the village I got a lot closer to some of the people on this trip. I came on the trip not really knowing or talking to anyone much, but the last day made me realize how we were all one big family and we had created this unbreakable bond.

I believe, just as someone mentioned at dinner one night, that this team did really well because we all worked together. The world would be a better place if this happened more. I’m so thankful I got to experience this opportunity with such a great group of people who really do care.

This whole trip gave me a new perspective on everything and it really did change my life! Thank you again Serve to Lead for everything that you do and all your amazing work throughout the years.