This project introduces the practice of utilizing teens in cross culture training experiences to enhance cultural understanding. The current U.S. teen-age generation has often been labeled as apathetic, as having no concern other than their own well being, yet we know for a fact that many are seeking international involvement, have the desire to reach across cultures, and with education and training bring fresh perspectives to intercultural issues.
U.S. teens are generally deficient in understanding life issues of teens in other cultures. This need became apparent during previous interactions among youth from Wisconsin and Nicaragua. The components included in this project will provide opportunities U.S. high school students to learn from their Nicaraguan counterparts. The U.S. students will increase their cultural understanding and share this knowledge with peers in their respective schools and communities.
The Regional Partners of the Americas Conference (panel discussion on international youth issues) was the catalyst event sparking excitement and purpose for continued youth projects. High school students from both Wisconsin and Nicaragua seized and created new opportunities by planning student exchanges and local cultural education events. The youth projects give them a chance to exercise their creativity, be internationally involved and demonstrate the value of volunteering to their peers.
Working on international projects with limited funds requires thinking in ways beyond the typical methods. Successful community leaders are cultivated when youth have opportunities to take ownership, be organized, be involved and learn good decision making skills. Anyone involved in cultural exchanges or experiences easily understands the great impact on a youth's perception of another culture and this project provides first hand opportunities for students to experience their own potential.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners website
W/NP Warehouse - miracles happen!