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Life lessons in Latin America

Jennifer first came to Centrepoint on 1 August 2014 after being in care due to a family breakdown. It was clear she had the desire to give back to her community and, in her words, ‘make a difference’. Like so many other young people, all she needed was the information, opportunity and support from people like you to really thrive.

Jennifer’s Centrepoint keyworker told her about Raleigh international – a sustainable charity that gives young people a chance to explore the world and their potential as leaders whilst making a difference to communities. Jennifer soon got involved and was winging her way to Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

'I felt so lucky to be a part of this trip. I was part of a group which worked together to clear up a National Park trail to allow scientists to come and discover new things and so tourists could visit and hike to the beach. We also trekked 260km across Costa Rica from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast which was mentally and physically challenging. The final phase was WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) it the most rewarding because we went to support a community which had limited water access. The group and local community had to build a gravity fed water system which provides clean unlimited water to people’s homes. I loved seeing how happy the locals were when they had access to the unlimited water. We also participated in action days where we discussed good health, sanitation and well-being and I taught English.

I’ve learnt a lot around youth leadership, sustainable development and active citizenship. This opportunity has allowed me to really prioritise what is important for me and has made me inspire for greater things.

This opportunity has allowed me to see the world in a bigger lense and I get to understand that London is not as big as I thought it was.

Centrepoint is really important to young people because it provides stability, advice on education and support from keyworkers. Centrepoint provides a platform for young people to excel in what they do and allows them to learn and grow from their mistakes.'