November 19, 2012
I first stumbled across the website for La Isla foundation purely by accident when researching my round the world trip in May 2010, as I wanted to learn some Spanish in Nicaragua and maybe climb a volcano or two. I read about the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemic they are working to eradicate for the first time on their website and was shocked to read about what is going on there that I gave them a donation through a paypal link on their website. After that I started thinking about how I could raise some more money so I put on an afternoon of bands in my local pub where I live in Suffolk, England. We managed to raise about £1,000 GBP on the day, and, when I actually made it out there 6 months later, I got to see where my money went; they bought some computers for the school in the La Isla community about an hour away from Léon where I got to then go and volunteer at. The kids there are so clever and they all excelled on their computer course- it was amazing to see. It was such an experience to see first-hand the amazing work that is so vitally needed in the community there. I taught English and after school sports and arts club there and just loved hanging out with such clever kids- each and every one of them was such a character. From the minute I set foot in the Foundation's HQ in Léon I was welcomed with open arms into an organisation full of some of the most energetic, friendliest, engaging and inspiring people I have ever met. Every day was a blast there whether I was working in the community, learning Spanish, dancing salsa, going to 'quiz night' at the local bar in Léon, playing 'cerro escondido' (aka hide and seek) with the kids at the school or jamming with a Nica rock-band! I was only going to stay for 4 weeks and I ended up staying for 9 as I made so many friends for life. Had I have had more time I would have stayed longer as it was so hard to leave. La Isla Foundation is now a major part of my life and it changed me forever; knowing the amazing work they are doing and so hard they are working to get to the bottom of the CKDu epidemic and to be a part of it is more inspirational than anything I have ever done before. I would recommend La Isla Foundation to anyone wanting to make a difference; you will be welcomed with open arms.
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