WILL plans unusual summer trip

Members of Women in Learning Leadership, WILL, are taking a trip half way around the world this summer to Managua, Nicaragua. They plan on traveling to the city from June 1 until June 10 as part of an educational informative awareness trip.
Women in Nicaragua are often subjected to violence and abuse at the hands of their husbands.
The 12 students attending the trip are hoping to create solidarity between themselves and the woman in Managua. While there, they aim to spread ideals of women’s equality and empowerment. They will also visit community-based and non-government organizations.
“We are staying in rural communities,” Michele Calvo, junior international studies and women and gender studies major, said. Women in these parts of the country are more often subjected to abuse.
The students are going to Managua not to solely help, but also to learn from the women that they will spend time with.
“There is no set community service mission,” Calvo said.
Those attending plan to come back to the College next semester and make the campus more aware of the impoverished living conditions of Nicaragua’s people. Out of the nearly 100 WILL members, 12 were picked to partake in this trip.
Calvo was the previous co-chair of membership, but due to a study abroad experience in the fall she had to step down.
Calvo explained she has never visited an impoverished area and she is excited to face new challenges. “I am most excited for the rural stay,” Calvo said.
Junior Lauren Serrano is the co-chair of the community service committee and has been for the past three years.
“I am excited to talk with the women and experience their everyday lives and incorporate their lives with mine,” Serrano said.
Members of WILL have been working hard to raise money for the trip since October 2008 and have collected more than half the funds they need. On April 20 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., WILL and Unión Latina are co-hosting a salsa dance workshop to raise more money for the trip. The organization is also accepting personal and faculty donations in addition to hosting a phone-a-thon to reach out to alumni.
More information on upcoming fundraisers can be found at tcnj.edu/~WILL.