By: Micayla Kinder
Bound For Peace is CBOB’s incredible service trip program that sends volunteers to Latin America to facilitate educational workshops and make a difference in the lives of the children we serve. Over the years Bound For Peace has transformed and grown, and continues to be a powerful force working toward the mission of meeting community needs. The program works to provide social and emotional support for the kids we work with, and provide volunteers with exposure new cultures and knowledge about equity and inclusivity. This year we have several trips taking place over Spring Break and the Summer. Volunteers will be able to travel to places like Medellin and Cartagena, Colombia as well as Quito, Ecuador. If you would like to learn more about BFP and hear firsthand from a BFP alumni member you can attend one of our upcoming information sessions! There will be one at UF on December 6th in Matherly Hall room 0115 at 6:30 p.m. and another via Facebook Live on December 7th at 7 p.m.!
Catherine Phillips is a former BFP volunteer who went on a total of three service trips.
“The two weeks I spent in Colombia are, to date, the best two weeks of my life,” Catherine said. “The amount of love and zest those kids have for life, in the midst of their environment, is inspiring.”
Catharine stated that though no trip is the same, they all are so fulfilling and allowed her to form lifelong friendships.
For anyone thinking of going on a BFP trip Phillips said, “It will be the single greatest decision you make this year. It is challenging yet rewarding experience, and I promise you will return home a changed person because of it.”
Carolina Palacio was one of the trip leaders on the Bound For Peace trip to Medellin, Colombia this past summer. She helps give a great perspective on what the volunteers will actually do on the service trips.
“In Medellin we are helping underprivileged kids by integrating them in hands-on activities that work towards preparing them fight social conflicts in their country,” Carolina said. “We teach them positive values following themes like embracing the beauty of their culture, self care tactics, and even more universal themes like trustworthiness and fairness. All of these workshops strive to enlighten the children and inspire them to fight for a better future for themselves and everyone around them. Each volunteer is in charge of creating and implementing the workshops following the themes mentioned previously along with many other themes that promote the CBOB goal. The volunteers will be directly working with kids in engaging activities in the hopes of transmitting these messages but also giving the children a whole new experience to enjoy and learn from.”
Sofia Wills went on a trip to Medellin, Colombia this past summer and had an unforgettable experience there.
“My hopes before the trip was to make an impact in those girls’ lives, little did I know, that by the end of it, those girls would make an enormous impact in mine”
Acacia Douglas is another volunteer who went on a Bound For Peace trip.
“My experience with CBOB truly taught me love knows no language,” Douglas said. CBOB helped Douglas find her passion for education. For anyone going on a service trip, Douglas recommends to listen to the service trip leaders because they really work hard to provide the best training, trips, and experience.
Acacia said that it is vital for volunteers to listen to their trip leaders because they work hard to provide them with excellent training. She had these words of advice for students who are thinking about going:
“Know the reason you’re going,” Acacia said. “These trips will offer a chance to see and do things you never have before, but they are bonuses and a chance to see the culture of the country. If you go with an open mind and are ready to serve, you will have the most amazing and life changing experience of your life.”
To learn more about our Bound For Peace Service Trips visit www.chbob.org/bound-for-peace. To apply to become a volunteer visit chbob.org/bfp. Begin your adventure today and become a champion for change!