Once in a lifetime expedition

Sixth form students at St Francis Xavier’s College are gearing up for a once in a lifetime trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The Woolton secondary school has started its fundraising efforts ahead of the planned 2018 expedition, which will explore the countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in Central America.

The four-week trip over 5,000 miles away is designed to open students’ eyes to a new culture and help benefit local communities by building new facilities such as green houses and barns for farmers and toilet and kitchens for local schools.

The aim of students’ work is to improve the quality of lives for those that need it the most and for those areas that state funds do not quite stretch to.

For the communities across these rural areas, a day’s work completed by pupils means the world to them.

Modern foreign language teacher, Mr Joe Hepworth, said: “The aim of our expeditions is to improve the skills of those who go. Our pupils come back after four weeks and have achieved incredible things. They have tackled physical and mental challenges during their expeditions that push them to their limits.

“They battle through and learn about themselves but also learn about others in different communities across the globe. They gain empathy and return home with a lot more cultural awareness.

“The expedition makes them realise just how lucky we are and just how much we take things for granted on a day to day basis.”

The school has been offering the expeditions to sixth formers for the last four years and have completed two trips to Peru during this time, in summer 2014 and 2016. Organised through Camps International, the expeditions have been hugely successful with many SFX students leaving a lasting impression on both the company and the rural communities around Peru.

With a new destination and new set of challenges ahead, sixth form students are starting their fundraising efforts. The cost of the expedition is nearly £4,000 and is paid for by the students through working on numerous fundraising events.

“Usually, our pupils raise between 80 and 100% of the cost of the expedition,” said Mr Joe Hepworth.

“In the past, pupils have organised events such as Curry & Quiz night, tuck shops, cake sales, car boot sales, summer fairs and even a staff lottery.

“Our pupils are always very good and motivated when it comes to organising these types of events and commit a lot of their free time to fundraising.”

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