Laura Vang '15
Student Director for Conversations That Matter
Hometown: Memphis, TNRead the full interview
The CCESP Nicaragua provides challenging inter-cultural learning opportunities for Dartmouth students and meaningful service by focusing resources on issues determined by the host community. These objectives are accomplished through best practices in experiential learning integrating academic interests, service, and a commitment to self-examination and reflection.
“I have a direction now. I know so much better my limitations and what matters to me and how I can become more useful in the future."
“Back at Dartmouth I’ve taken plenty of classes about global health, international development and cultural studies, but I felt like I wasn’t able to really wrap my mind around the issues until I’d seen them face to face, lived the reality I had encountered in books and documentaries and form conclusions of my own rather than accepting the opinions and conclusions of researchers, journalists and politicians”.
“The URACCAN students that volunteered alongside us particularly inspired me. Learning about the communities that they came from, how they got to university, and their goals for the future made me realize that their dreams are not so different than our own”.
"I will start off by stating that the tucker CCESP to Nicaragua was one of the most unforgettable experiences that I'll probably ever have. I would not change anything about the trip because I know that everything—even the uncomfortable moments—have taught me or are in the process of teaching me valuable life lessons."
"Going on this trip put my life into perspective. Given the education I'm receiving, I feel responsible for making a difference in the world that is larger than me. I feel a need to give back to my community and the global community."
"Actually living in the community and experiencing daily life there offered me a greater understanding of service work in two weeks than working in an NGO headquarters in San Francisco did in three months."
"...what I learned in Nicaragua – or rather, what I was reminded of – is that "desperate" is never all that people are. The friends I made and the people I served in Nicaragua are human beings with feelings and agency, not just stick figures of poverty: a fact that is often forgotten by even the most well-meaning of Americans."
Last Updated: 1/26/15