Co-sponsored by the Davidson Chaplain's Office and local congregations, the Journey to Central America program provides an ecumenical team of 10-12 students with the opportunity to travel during spring break and to encounter and learn from people in impoverished, marginalized communities in Central America. This program is run every other year and will take place in the 2018-19 academic year.
The student team is selected during the fall semester and meets weekly during the spring semester to study Nicaraguan history, politics, economics and theology. The group also engages in worship and scripture study and reflects on Christian discipleship, all in preparation for the trip over spring break.
CEPAD, a faith-based organization dedicated to building bridges of solidarity between the church of the poor and marginalized communities in Nicaragua and communities in the United States, hosts the Davidson team. The students meet with Nicaraguans to hear stories about their experiences and their journey of discipleship; visit a variety of non-governmental organizations and other agencies that work to improve life for the most impoverished and marginalized people in Nicaragua; spend time with Nicaraguan families both in Managua and in the countryside; and participate in the worship services of several different Christian communities.
The Journey to Central America is a reverse-mission experience. The students understand they are not bringing Christianity to a place that lacks it, nor are they evangelizing through their work. Rather, they recognize that God is alive and at work in the lives of Nicaraguans in a unique way, and they hope to experience God in that context. They hope to have their lives transformed by their interpersonal encounters, prompting them to become agents of transformation in their own context back in the United States.
Upon returning to Davidson, the team continues to meet for several weeks to reflect upon the experience and what it means for ongoing discipleship.
The Journey to Nicaragua program will take place next during the 2018-19 academic year. Application instructions will be posted then.