Summer of Service in South America

My name is Eliana Salinas.  I am a sophomore at Austin High School, and I would like to make a difference this summer.

Currently, I am inspired to do three primary things: develop leadership skills, serve the global community, and become fluent in a second language, Spanish.  Doing all of these is possible, this summer in South America, for six thousand dollars!

Through Amigos de las Americas, I and one other teen will be placed in a rural village near the farming town of Guaira, Paraguay,  where we will live with a host family for eight weeks.  There, we will research, plan, and implement projects with a focus on public health, individualized to our community.   In the past, these projects have varied from installing latrines for a hundred homes to getting a village fresh water through a new outsourcing system.   When we arrive, we will meet with community leaders to design and implement a new project, one that will most benefit their village at this time.  In addition to our primary project, the other volunteer and I will be running "campamentos" or day camps in which we educate children on a weekly topic, primarily centered around health. 

Most of all, I am going to learn from, connect with, and simply become a part of my new community and its culture.  Each day I will milk the cows with my family, each day I will do chores with my family, and each day I will prepare dinner with my family. Living integrated with and accepted as a part of my host family, I will (hopefully) simultaneously become fluent in Spanish.   In addition, I will be learning  a third language, Guarani. This language, spoken in Paraguay, is a  result of  the combination of native and Spanish cultures.  

All funds for this campaign will go toward the cost of this program. Encapsulated in the cost is everything, including flights, money for our families to feed us, and money to fund our projects there.  I will depart from the U.S. on June 17th, which is quickly approaching.   Although my goal is far-reaching, I believe that by coming together, each and every individual in my life can have a part in making this dream happen, and by doing so, change the lives of people abroad.

Being part of this experience is beyond my wildest dreams.   It is what I am called to do at this point in my life and I am determined to make it happen.  Not only would it be transformative for the people in my community, but also for myself.  The initiative and leadership skills built in planning, executing, and maintaining such a long term project in a foreign community will serve me in countless ways for the rest of my life.

Please fund me in this adventure of learning and expansion over the course of one summer.   During the trip I will be without any internet or phone service, but will update you with pictures and a reflection upon returning.

Thank you so very, very,--very--much,

Eliana Salinas


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  • Clara Salinas 
    • $475 
    • 60 mos
  • Daniel Salinas 
    • $25 
    • 60 mos
  • Paul Chavez 
    • $100 
    • 60 mos
  • The Ag 
    • $100 
    • 60 mos
  • daniele pheeney 
    • $50 
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Eliana Salinas 
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