Two Fitch High School students who learned Spanish together as friends are traveling to Managua, Nicaragua this month to serve at a medical clinic.
Stacia Pombrio, 18, and Emmy Walrath, 17, now seniors at Fitch, were accepted into the Hope Worldwide Nicaragua Community Service Brigade and leave on March 20. Hope Worldwide is an international charity that provides volunteers to help with the poor.
Pombrio and Walrath will work in the clinic as translators, teach about dental hygiene and keep children busy while they're waiting. The Fitch students are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Spanish class at Fitch. The IB program recently came under scrutiny during recent budget discussions by the school board, but survived the cuts.
Pombrio has made three trips with HOPE Worldwide; two in the United States and one outside the country. She traveled to Dallas in 2010, Philadelphia in 2011, and Haiti for almost two weeks last year to help at an orphanage.
“I just feel like it's very fulfilling," she said. Pombrio said the trips also helped her discover she wants to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Walrath worked for a week in Boston last summer, preparing meals in soup kitchens and assisting others as part of a group from Mystic Congregational Church. She said she also found the experience rewarding, and discovered she wants to pursue a career in film.
"I've always really enjoyed telling stories that have a message to them," she said.
Pombrio and Walrath are holding two fundraisers on Saturday to help pay for their trip. The first event is a Coffee House, along with live entertainment like poetry readings, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Mystic Congregational Church. Tickets are $5 each, or a maximum of $20 per family.
The second event is a dance for all ages, with a disc jockey, light refreshments and a chocolate fountain, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 :30 p.m., also at Mystic Congregational Church. Tickets are $7 each, or a maximum of $25 per family.