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The 9 days I spent in La Cueva, quickily became the best days of my life. I'd do anything to have stayed for a month, it was unforgettable. It changed my views on life after seeing how happy the campesinos are when they have so little, they are so happy with just the little things and that's something I lacked before I went on this trip. During the trip I was at my happiest, from seeing their gleaming smiles to how welcoming they were with all of us. Also my leaders were amazing and such great people along with the girls I went with that became my sisters. I learned the true meaning of happiness and to have a simple outlook on life. Live in the moment has become a motto that I use in my everyday life now. Since I got to the airport to return home I've been counting down the days till next summer so I can go back to my home away from home. 

The 9 days I spent in La Cueva, quickily became the best days of my life. I'd do anything to have stayed for a month, it was unforgettable. It changed my views on life after seeing how happy the campesinos are when they have so little, they are so happy with just the little things and that's something I lacked before I went on this trip. During the trip I was at my happiest, from seeing their gleaming smiles to how welcoming they were with all of us. Also my leaders were amazing and such great people along with the girls I went with that became my sisters. I learned the true meaning of happiness and to have a simple outlook on life. Live in the moment has become a motto that I use in my everyday life now. Since I got to the airport to return home I've been counting down the days till next summer so I can go back to my home away from home. 

Hannah Brun

9 days was all it took to change my entire life. The amazing community if Naranjito will be in my heart forever, and I am so greatful to have taken part in the experience. The people of Naranjito taught me how to be completely and genuinely happy with all the little things in life. These people have more then some of us will ever have in our lifetimes. They are so rich in life and love and I can only hope to be a fraction of the people they are. This trip has helped me realize that it's not about the material things it's about the people around you. Thank you so much to my campo family and my amazing leaders who I look up to so much. I hope I get to come back next year and lose myself in this amazing place that I am now proud to call my home away from home.

9 days was all it took to change my entire life. The amazing community if Naranjito will be in my heart forever, and I am so greatful to have taken part in the experience. The people of Naranjito taught me how to be completely and genuinely happy with all the little things in life. These people have more then some of us will ever have in our lifetimes. They are so rich in life and love and I can only hope to be a fraction of the people they are. This trip has helped me realize that it's not about the material things it's about the people around you. Thank you so much to my campo family and my amazing leaders who I look up to so much. I hope I get to come back next year and lose myself in this amazing place that I am now proud to call my home away from home.

Daniella Cornide

I fell in love with the campo and the village of La Cueva. I cannot put into words how life-changing the trip was for me as a whole. The moment I arrived and stepped foot off the bus, immediately I felt a sense of happiness fall upon me. I truly had no idea what the next nine days would have in store for me. Living in the moment has become a self motto because of my experience with BLUE Missions. It taught me to see things from a simplistic perspective. I will never forget each and everyone of the amazing people of La Cueva. From their welcoming smiles to their amazing way of life, the people helped me find myself and who I truly am. There was more than just self realization on the trip, I made friendships and bonds that will last forever. The girls on my trip were absolutely amazing. The leaders were even more amazing, I aspire to be like them in the future. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything else. I hope to join BLUE Missions again next summer and for many more after that.

I fell in love with the campo and the village of La Cueva. I cannot put into words how life-changing the trip was for me as a whole. The moment I arrived and stepped foot off the bus, immediately I felt a sense of happiness fall upon me. I truly had no idea what the next nine days would have in store for me. Living in the moment has become a self motto because of my experience with BLUE Missions. It taught me to see things from a simplistic perspective. I will never forget each and everyone of the amazing people of La Cueva. From their welcoming smiles to their amazing way of life, the people helped me find myself and who I truly am. There was more than just self realization on the trip, I made friendships and bonds that will last forever. The girls on my trip were absolutely amazing. The leaders were even more amazing, I aspire to be like them in the future. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything else. I hope to join BLUE Missions again next summer and for many more after that.

Michelle Morera

I love it. Being able to do this trip again for the second year in a row was amazing. Having the opportunity to be in a completely different campo and complete a different task with different people was truly life changing. The bonds and memories I have made on trips like these will last a lifetime. The leaders were great. Richard, Javi, Alexa, and Matt were amazing and better that I imagined. I would definitely recommend this trip to anybody and everybody.

I love it. Being able to do this trip again for the second year in a row was amazing. Having the opportunity to be in a completely different campo and complete a different task with different people was truly life changing. The bonds and memories I have made on trips like these will last a lifetime. The leaders were great. Richard, Javi, Alexa, and Matt were amazing and better that I imagined. I would definitely recommend this trip to anybody and everybody.

Paul Benzer

I learned more about life and about helping others than ever before. I lost myself in my service to others, and found a new home in Naranjito. The beautiful people really opened my eyes to the world around me and helped me see just how lucky I am to have the things I would normally take for granted. My new campo sisters are the people I look up to most because they taught me to "live in the moment". I can't wait to participate in another BLUE trip next year.

I learned more about life and about helping others than ever before. I lost myself in my service to others, and found a new home in Naranjito. The beautiful people really opened my eyes to the world around me and helped me see just how lucky I am to have the things I would normally take for granted. My new campo sisters are the people I look up to most because they taught me to "live in the moment". I can't wait to participate in another BLUE trip next year.

Toyi Quintana

BLUE Missions is a humbling experience that provided me with a new perspective of life. It taught me that the simplest actions make the happiest moments. In life I become desensitized to what God is trying to tell me. Sometimes I go through life as if I have blinders on. Life becomes a routine and I am on autopilot. I take things for granted. I do not see and am not aware of God's presences in the world and my everyday life. BLUE Missions reminded me to live in the moment. I do not realize sometimes what is going on around me. It is as if I am always living a step ahead instead of taking in the moment. What is happening in that moment is passing me by. So those are little things that I take for granted. I take so many little things for granted.  The people in Baul would easily give me a smile, a handshake, a hug, a spirit of kindness and respect. They made us feel extremely welcomed in their town. That was so humbling for me. I gave back to the people of Baul what is abundantly free to me, love and water. Thank you BLUE Missions for this life altering experience. I am definitely looking forward to my next blue trips.

BLUE Missions is a humbling experience that provided me with a new perspective of life. It taught me that the simplest actions make the happiest moments. In life I become desensitized to what God is trying to tell me. Sometimes I go through life as if I have blinders on. Life becomes a routine and I am on autopilot. I take things for granted. I do not see and am not aware of God's presences in the world and my everyday life.

BLUE Missions reminded me to live in the moment. I do not realize sometimes what is going on around me. It is as if I am always living a step ahead instead of taking in the moment. What is happening in that moment is passing me by. So those are little things that I take for granted. I take so many little things for granted. 

The people in Baul would easily give me a smile, a handshake, a hug, a spirit of kindness and respect. They made us feel extremely welcomed in their town. That was so humbling for me. I gave back to the people of Baul what is abundantly free to me, love and water.

Thank you BLUE Missions for this life altering experience. I am definitely looking forward to my next blue trips.

Carolina Tundidor

 
I’m positive my twins, Alessandra & Cristina, have gained more out of these experiences than the people of the pueblo. Thank you so much BLUE Missions for reminding my daughters what is important in life and helping them to learn the true meaning of happiness. Also, thank you for helping them to be so fulfilled with the gift of serving others.
— Lisa Mackle, Carrollton Parent 2015-2017
The BLUE trip I went on over the summer was life changing. I am not a very sensitive person, but I spent the entire trip crying because I could not believe that we would only be spending 9 short days in El Piche. I hope to experience the same love and passion I felt while on the trip, I hope to create bonds with the people I go with that will last a lifetime, and I hope to change the lives of the people I meet in the DR, just as I did in El Piche. 

The BLUE trip I went on over the summer was life changing. I am not a very sensitive person, but I spent the entire trip crying because I could not believe that we would only be spending 9 short days in El Piche. I hope to experience the same love and passion I felt while on the trip, I hope to create bonds with the people I go with that will last a lifetime, and I hope to change the lives of the people I meet in the DR, just as I did in El Piche. 

Alexandra Peterson

My past two service trips with BLUE were so incredible that I can't wait to go back. Both trips have made me realize how important it is to help others in need. I hope (and know) that this years' experience will be just as amazing as every other year's has been. BLUE Missions has become such an important part of my life, and I can't wait to participate again.

My past two service trips with BLUE were so incredible that I can't wait to go back. Both trips have made me realize how important it is to help others in need. I hope (and know) that this years' experience will be just as amazing as every other year's has been. BLUE Missions has become such an important part of my life, and I can't wait to participate again.

Gabriella Garcia

Last summer something lit up inside of me that changed my perspective on life. Ghandi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." I found who I want to be, up in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, and I want to continue losing and finding myself, helping the people of the DR to have lives filled with love, life, and happiness.

Last summer something lit up inside of me that changed my perspective on life. Ghandi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." I found who I want to be, up in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, and I want to continue losing and finding myself, helping the people of the DR to have lives filled with love, life, and happiness.

Daniela Diaz

BLUE Trips have developed a love I have for the campo and the amazing people people who inhabit it. A major part of my life is dedicated to serving others, and this trip will once again help me to share everything I can with people who need more than what they are given. I plan on devoting the rest of my life to learning about different people around the world and spreading how love and kindness and improve humanity.

BLUE Trips have developed a love I have for the campo and the amazing people people who inhabit it. A major part of my life is dedicated to serving others, and this trip will once again help me to share everything I can with people who need more than what they are given. I plan on devoting the rest of my life to learning about different people around the world and spreading how love and kindness and improve humanity.

Sophia Rose

BLUE Trips are an incredible way to escape reality and consider the blessings we all have in our lives. Each BLUE trip has given me unique life experiences that I would never be able to gain anywhere else. The people of the campo have taught me that the simplest things create the biggest smiles and the most beautiful things in life are those we take for granted most often. My experiences with BLUE have been some of the greatest in life and I have become determined to continue combating the world water crisis.

BLUE Trips are an incredible way to escape reality and consider the blessings we all have in our lives. Each BLUE trip has given me unique life experiences that I would never be able to gain anywhere else. The people of the campo have taught me that the simplest things create the biggest smiles and the most beautiful things in life are those we take for granted most often. My experiences with BLUE have been some of the greatest in life and I have become determined to continue combating the world water crisis.

Sabrina Janeiro

BLUE trips are unique and different each time. I truly enjoy traveling to the Dominican Republic and living in conditions that are no where near as comfortable as those that I am privileged with at home. I love the sense of appreciation I take back with me. Above all, the greatest aspect of BLUE is the jubilant climax that is reached when we are able to see people of utter poverty attain clean, running water for the first time. I hope to gain exactly what I have gained on the past two trips; gratitude for my family, home, and water.

BLUE trips are unique and different each time. I truly enjoy traveling to the Dominican Republic and living in conditions that are no where near as comfortable as those that I am privileged with at home. I love the sense of appreciation I take back with me. Above all, the greatest aspect of BLUE is the jubilant climax that is reached when we are able to see people of utter poverty attain clean, running water for the first time. I hope to gain exactly what I have gained on the past two trips; gratitude for my family, home, and water.

Kelly Rico

Alexandra Guixens

Eight days. Eight days was all it took for me to fall in love with the town, the people, and the lifestyle of El Jobo. Baby wipes, violeta, and bug spray became my best friends. What started off as just a poor town became a place I called home after those 8 days. I was, without a doubt, put on that trip with those people for a reason and will forever be grateful for them. The laughter and tears we shared and the memories we made will stay with me forever. I can honestly say I made an impact on the lives of 72 families and gave them something as simple as fresh water, but they made a bigger impact on me. From card games late at night in the campo to trenching in the mountains and to telling stories with the 30 other people I now call family, this mission trip opened my eyes to see the possibility, change and impact I was making on the lives of those Dominicans. I learned so many things from the strategies of playing dominos to learning to dance la bachata. I now know what it's like to live in poverty.

After seeing the kids everyday and playing soccer and baseball with them, that is when I realized how soccer does not need to be played on a beautiful green field, but a concrete slab would do. I learned you don't need a round ball and a bat to play baseball just a broom stick and a bottle cap. The happiness these kids had, brought life to me and helped me realize that the more we do for others the more we learn and grow within ourselves. Nicky, one of the counselors, stressed every single morning to live in the moment and explore the town, meet people, and take advantage of every day because times flies. It wasn't until I was on the plane going back home that I realized the importance of all those moments.

Every single person needs an experience like this just once in your life. You will get through the bucket showers and the bathrooms, or lack thereof, and the bugs, because at the end of the day it's not just a place, it's a memory that will be with you forever. I guarantee, from personal experience, that you will not want to come home. Nothing we do in our life measures to the importance of helping those in need. Through this experience, I now know the true meaning of happiness and that it's worth more than anything else we have. I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for next summer with BLUE!

As a high school student, you are always told to make an impact on your society. We are given a requirement for service hours and are expected to meet that by the time we graduate. But as teenagers, we can only do so much. Some of us have great ambitions to leave a mark on our world but can't because we are limited. This is why BLUE Missions is so special. Through BLUE Missions, high school students are able to spend only one week of their summer vacation impacting an entire community. Through out my high school life I've completed many service hours and none have compared to the ones I completed while on a service trip with BLUE. Living in community with a rural village and working side by side with the locals has an impact that will last forever. Some of my greatest memories come from the campo. It is amazing to think that a 17 year old like myself has contributed to change the lifestyle of two separate communities in the last two years. This can't be done with out BLUE Missions.

As a high school student, you are always told to make an impact on your society. We are given a requirement for service hours and are expected to meet that by the time we graduate. But as teenagers, we can only do so much. Some of us have great ambitions to leave a mark on our world but can't because we are limited. This is why BLUE Missions is so special. Through BLUE Missions, high school students are able to spend only one week of their summer vacation impacting an entire community. Through out my high school life I've completed many service hours and none have compared to the ones I completed while on a service trip with BLUE. Living in community with a rural village and working side by side with the locals has an impact that will last forever. Some of my greatest memories come from the campo. It is amazing to think that a 17 year old like myself has contributed to change the lifestyle of two separate communities in the last two years. This can't be done with out BLUE Missions.

Sergio Velikopoljski

BLUE Mission's is something I like to call my "why". In my family, sometimes over dinner or randomly, we get into the conversation of our purpose in life and why we think we are important. Having been on BLUE three times, I've realized that finding myself in the service for others and helping those in need whether it may be something simple or life changing, is the one of the main reasons for my being. Going from living in better than ideal conditions, to living in the campo for just a week is usually something people fear but for me it is the opposite. I look forward to being in the midst of simplicity and being able to do what I love without having to worry about those outside distractions that are found meaningless. When others ask me whether or not they should embark on a BLUE trip, I usually have no words except for that it is something that every person should experience for themselves because no words will ever do it the right amount of justice. You find yourself in a state of endless happiness and doing things you never once thought you could achieve. You hike mountains that are miles long even though you've once said "there's no way I could even run a mile". You hike up different mountains around your campo just for fun and enjoy a view that cannot be found anywhere else. During breaks, you explore instead of taking a nap to recover from a long working morning. You come into the town being terrified of bugs but then realize they could be your friend as well. Most importantly, you bring eternal happiness and opportunity to people who never thought they would one day be able to see the light on the other side of the tunnel they call life.

BLUE Mission's is something I like to call my "why". In my family, sometimes over dinner or randomly, we get into the conversation of our purpose in life and why we think we are important. Having been on BLUE three times, I've realized that finding myself in the service for others and helping those in need whether it may be something simple or life changing, is the one of the main reasons for my being. Going from living in better than ideal conditions, to living in the campo for just a week is usually something people fear but for me it is the opposite. I look forward to being in the midst of simplicity and being able to do what I love without having to worry about those outside distractions that are found meaningless. When others ask me whether or not they should embark on a BLUE trip, I usually have no words except for that it is something that every person should experience for themselves because no words will ever do it the right amount of justice. You find yourself in a state of endless happiness and doing things you never once thought you could achieve. You hike mountains that are miles long even though you've once said "there's no way I could even run a mile". You hike up different mountains around your campo just for fun and enjoy a view that cannot be found anywhere else. During breaks, you explore instead of taking a nap to recover from a long working morning. You come into the town being terrified of bugs but then realize they could be your friend as well. Most importantly, you bring eternal happiness and opportunity to people who never thought they would one day be able to see the light on the other side of the tunnel they call life.

Mariana Loys

When I signed up for the first Columbus BLUE Missions Trip in 2014, I was only expecting sacrifice. I figured, "I want to do something good in this world, and this is probably the best way to do it." And, for the first three days, the trip was truly a sacrifice: the environment was hot, the hikes were long, and the work was truly difficult. The last thing I expected was to get used to the humbler environment (which was so different from the one I was used to) and begin to actually enjoy the experience. I fell in love with the campesinos, with the views, and even with the work itself! When we were finally able to complete the aqueduct, I realized that a single week's work had never felt so fulfilling. BLUE Missions provided not only an eye-opening and truly enjoyable experience, but also a genuine opportunity to make tangible, positive changes in the lives of countless families. I could hardly wait for the year to pass so that I could take advantage of that opportunity once again in 2015. 

When I signed up for the first Columbus BLUE Missions Trip in 2014, I was only expecting sacrifice. I figured, "I want to do something good in this world, and this is probably the best way to do it." And, for the first three days, the trip was truly a sacrifice: the environment was hot, the hikes were long, and the work was truly difficult. The last thing I expected was to get used to the humbler environment (which was so different from the one I was used to) and begin to actually enjoy the experience. I fell in love with the campesinos, with the views, and even with the work itself! When we were finally able to complete the aqueduct, I realized that a single week's work had never felt so fulfilling. BLUE Missions provided not only an eye-opening and truly enjoyable experience, but also a genuine opportunity to make tangible, positive changes in the lives of countless families. I could hardly wait for the year to pass so that I could take advantage of that opportunity once again in 2015. 

Robert Lewis

Nicolas Prendes

What is water? This seems like such a silly thing to ask, but I have just begun to realize everything that water really means. Throughout our lives we have been blessed with something so simple yet so unique and that thing is water. We wake up everyday and brush our teeth, we go to the kitchen and get a glass of water to drink and we even use it to cook and clean around the house. All of these are the everyday uses of water for us here in the states and all we really see it as just the simplest part of our "hectic" days. Little do we know that what comes so easy for us is just non-existent for other people around the world. This past week I went with absolutely the greatest group of people to a small pueblo called "Ranchito De Los Perraltas". Upon arrival on this trip I realized this would be unlike anything I've ever experienced in my life. I arrived with a group of 25 people, some that I knew and some that I didn't, but we were all there for the same reason and that was to bring water to a community that's in desperate need of it. The warm welcoming we received from al the people of the campo just showed how happy they were to see us there and how happy they were to know that from that moment on their lives and ours as well, will change forever. After a couple days working there is when I realized that we were there for so much more than to just "get water" for these people in the campo. Water actually is just a part of everything we do for the members of the campo. With water comes hope, with water comes happiness, with water comes a healthier lifestyle, and most importantly with water comes possibility. The possibility of an education most importantly, something that again to us seems so simple but to them is taken away because the little boys and girls of the campo are working all day and getting river water for their family for al the basic everyday needs. Once the cleans water arrives to all these families not only will their lives get easier but they will be given the opportunity to live their lives in a way that just a couple years ago seemed impossible. 

I just wanted to take this time to thank BLUE Missions for everything they've done not only for the communities around the DR but everything they've done for me as well. Through blue missions not only have I been able to go on trips and have the experience of a lifetime but I've been able to find my "why" and find my purpose in life and that is to make people around me happy because the happiness of others is what fuels the happiness in my life. So once again to BLUE Missions thank you for everything you do and it was a pleasure working with you guys this summer and I'm already looking forward to next summer. 

 

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