Stand UP Nicaragua: From Leon to Cerro Negro

It’s only been one full day since the last update, so this one will be short and sweet as we prepare to spend the final hours together on the beach in Las Penitas. Today’s theme – youth. Yesterday was a bit of an early morning as we moved east from Leon towards Cerro Negro, the youngest of Nicaragua’s volcanos.


With youth comes drama, and this natural wonder fits the mold. Only 150 years ago, the land that the volanco sits on was green farmland. In that relatively short period of time has grown a nearly 800 meter black giant. Flash forward to the new millennium, when an adventure type decided to strap a wooden board to his butt and slide down. Thus was born volcano boarding (similar to snow boarding)!


Strapping the sleds to their backs, the teens make their way to the summit, an hour hike. Gear included a full body paint-like suit, goggles, gloves, and courage. Speed varied, but even the sloth-iest of the teens had fine black rocks coming from every bodily orifice for the remainder of the day. Lunch followed, along with a trip to a local bookstore in Leon so that we did not arrive empty handed on our final trip to Tomas Borges village.


It’s rather amazing to be in a hugely poor, faraway village and witness boarders disappear through games and learning. This time, the smiles on the teens’ faces spread wider, which quickly transitioned to watery eyes as the children of the village knocked on the bus windows as we readied to pull away one final time. Collectively, the staff of Stand Up Nicaragua has have been on countless BBYO trips and even more places around the globe – this one tugged at our hearts like very few experiences had before.
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