by Danielle Wagner
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) From Cedar Falls to Nicaragua. Ten UNI students spent part of a college break out of the country.
The trip to Nicaragua was part of a required cap stone class.
"It's considered a business cap stone regarding socio-economic reality. So we went to a coffee cooperative and sewing textile business to see how their economy works," said UNI student Trisha Niceswanger.
Niceswanger said she learned just how reliant the country is on the coffee industry.
Besides town life, the students stayed with families in the mountains to experience rural life for part of their trip.
"In this country they may not have a lot but they're willing to share it with you. Even complete strangers. They have these tiny homes, but they opened up to ten strangers to say here you can stay in our home, and they fed us just opened their arms and hearts up to us as family," said Niceswanger.
The students also volunteered. They painted a church and school and gave Nicaraguan students technology training on laptops donated by UNI.
"For us, it's second nature. A kid doesn't even understand that if you move your hand on a mouse it'll move on the screen and what right click or double click is. How to type your name with two hands. Just little things like that, so it was really challenging," said Robyn Odegard.
Odegard previously visited two other third world countries. But she said Nicaragua stands out as the poorest she's seen.
"If every single person could have an experience like this, society would be a very different place. People would be more willing to lend a helping hand to anyone," said Odegard.
All the students said they're perspective changed after their short time in Nicaragua.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner