Everyone deserves the chance to travel. Yet, all too often, seeing the world is a privilege reserved for the global elite. At Elevate Destinations, we bridge the divide. Our goal is to connect local youths to their own environments, as travelers and as stewards.
Through our innovative Buy a Trip, Give a Trip model, your trip purchase creates fun new travel opportunities for local kids. For the first time, they experience nearby natural and cultural wonders. They see the sites, have fun, and make the kind of travel memories that we take for granted. Here’s just one example of Buy a Trip, Give a Trip in action:
20 youths from the San Juan del Sur area of Nicaragua. They were chosen for their stellar performance in school by our partners at the Barrio Planta Project.
On September 8, the children embarked on a full day excursion to Granada. They toured the lake and small islands by boat, learned about local history at museums, visited the central park, and even had some time to relax and go swimming!
At 8am, 20 youths and 5 staff members from Barrio Planta Project left San Juan del Sur to head to Granada City. Located on the shores of Lago Cocibolca, Central America’s largest lake, Granada is a picture-perfect location. It’s cobbled stone streets, quaint architecture and scenic surrounds have beckoned travelers for years!
Not often accessible to children from more rural areas of Nicaragua, the prospect of traveling to Granada was exciting for the students of the Barrio Planta Project, to say the least. The day trip started with a cruise around the isletas of Granada, where a peppering of small islands dots the shoreline.
From there, the students headed back to land to explore three different museums to learn more about the history of Granada and Nicaraguan culture. Being exposed to new influences and educational opportunities is a great way to spark these young leaders’ interest and encourage them to continue to strive for excellence in their academics.
In the afternoon, the group enjoyed some bonding time together over lunch and a refreshing dip in the pool at Encuentros Restaurant. The final stop on the trip was a visit to the scenic Central Park of Granada and a tour around the city’s main points of interest.
“Seeing the children and staff members of BPP from San Juan del Sur and the surrounding rural area, have the opportunity to explore Granada on an educational and organized tour was an incredible event. One of the most amazing and memorable ways to learn about art, history, nature, science and culture is through travel, and every child deserves to have that experience. Our organization, the Barrio Planta Project (BPP) envisions a world where local communities are able to leverage the growth of the tourism industry into economic and educational opportunities for their children, youth, and families. We couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to truly manifest this vision into a reality for our students than Elevate Destinations’ B1G1 program.”
-Dyani Makous, Founder, BPP
“The trip was incredible because we did things we have never done and saw monkeys and so many beautiful places we had never seen before, with a lot of trees and amazing things.”
– Melisa Suares (11 years old, San Juan del Sur)
Partner Organization: Barrio Planta Project
The Barrio Planta Project leverages the growing presence of tourism to benefit local communities through education. Based in the small, bohemian surfer-town of San Juan del Sur, where a local community that struggles with access to opportunities and resources is often overlooked, the Barrio Planta Project empowers youths through the provision of education that instills creativity, enhances confidence, facilitates international communication, and equips young leaders to become active change agents in their community.