Artz readies for Ecuador trip

Featured — By on February 10, 2008 at 10:52 pm

This May, Marywood graduate Matt Artz will take part in a service trip to Ecuador organized through Marywood’s Campus Ministry’s International Service Trip Program in cooperation with the Habitat for Humanity Global Youth Village Program.

 

The group will spend eight days in Ecuador from May 14-22.

 

While this is Artz’s first service trip, he has taken a trip to Nicaragua for research work. “Nicaragua was the catalyst for wanting to give back to the global community,” he said, adding that the experience “shaped my interest in trying to help the world’s people in whatever way I am able.”

 

Artz said he was surprised at the level of poverty on the subsistence-based island he visited in Nicaragua, Ometepe. “I had intended to see what I believed was poverty, but not people who live on less than $2 a day,” he said. “This was a truly eye-opening experience into how difficult daily life is for roughly 4 billion people of our world.”

 

“We often think that we are poor in the United States because we make $20,000-60,000. That is not poor; it is rich.”

 

Artz added that the cause of the poverty can be traced back to environmental factors like a lack of nutritious plants, fewer animals suitable for work or food and a greater potential for disease due to natural conditions. Before he left, Artz donated to a local school all of the possessions he did not need to get home.

 

For Artz, it was a life-changing experience and one he would recommend to anyone. “To truly know you are making a difference and to see the smile of a truly appreciative person when you are participating in such an activity is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever experienced. I will never forget those children in that Nicaraguan school.”

 

“There are many options from local programs to international work. One need not go off to the equator to help. And no matter where you partake in service, it will result in not only a benefit to others, but a deeply personal one as well.”

 

If you would like to make a donation to help defray the costs of Artz’s service trip, visit http://www.habitat.org/cd/gv/participant/participant.aspx?pid=93025168

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    1 Comment

  • RW says:

    Not only is Matt Artz a Marywood graduate but he is also the current record holder with 200+ undergraduate credits.

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