Listen Up Espanol Employees from Mexico & US Work Together to Build a School in Nicaragua

The place: the rural village of Monte Rico, Nicaragua. The group: four Americans and five Mexican employees from Listen Up Espanol. The mission: to go beyond themselves and help grow brain cells.

Employees from Listen Up Espanol, a call center for the United States Hispanic market based in Portland, Maine, raised money for a buildOn school in Nicaragua, and they just recently returned from their trip! The employees was so energized about helping build a school, they produced a fun and short bilingual documentary about the experience and created an awesome infographic.

We interviewed Lana Charlton, a Senior Account Executive at Listen Up Espanol, about her experience:

How did you become involved with this project?

I immediately wanted to do it. We had a presentation, and then once I started talking to more and more people I got excited. We had to make and submit a video about why we wanted to do it because the number of places was limited. (Watch Lana’s video!)

How has building a school with buildOn changed your perspective?

Going into the village, I expected to see a lot of poverty. I was amazed by how happy people are there and how much building a school means to them. There was a little girl named Rosa in our host family. She was six years old and one of five. She was telling us how it takes her 50 minutes to go to school and how they have to wake up in the dark, and it’s dangerous. And she was telling me how excited she is that she’s not going to do that anymore. It touched my heart so much, I almost cried.

I really enjoyed the afternoon activities buildOn arranged for us. We were listening to stories of people who participated in the revolution. They were telling us what they were fighting for and opportunity for girls and for children to go to school but they didn’t have the financial capabilities to do that.

The experience was incredible and very rewarding. It was hard labor, I’ll admit, but it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

What are some of your favorite memories of going on the trek? What were the takeaways?

Tony (Tony Ricciardi, Listen Up Espanol’s Co-Founder and President), Shalo (Felizardo Payan, Graphic Designer) and Randy (Randall Anderson, Senior Vice President of Sales & New Business Development) stayed in another house, and they brought Jenga for the family. Before that, the only other toy the boy in the house had was a yoyo, and they had made it themselves. When he was leaving he gave it to Randy, his only toy, as a “thank you.” It was really sweet. It just shows how much we connected with the families. It was absolutely touching… The people there were just so open and greeted us like we were their own family members. I never knew people could be so welcoming.

Four employees from the main office in Portland, Maine met up with five employees working in Mexico. How did Listen Up Espanol employees benefit from the experience?

It was an incredible team-building experience. I learned a lot about how (the employees in Mexico) operate. We connected a lot better, and now communication will be a lot easier and faster.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I thought it was amazing how well-organized the trip was. It was perfect. We were safe and taken care of the whole time. Anything we needed we had. Kudos to you guys.

Complete this sentence: buildOn is… awesome!

Help build a school just like Listen Up Espanol by donating to buildOn’s  Breaking the Cycle campaign. Change the world by educating children, parents and grandparents. This winter every donation given will be matched up to $60K by Teza Technologies!   #itstartshere