Give Today!

$500 $100 $50 $25 $ Other

Title Image


Round Two Travelers

  |   #inspired, chicago, community programs, education, nicaragua, non-profit, nonprofit, partnership trip, report from the field, socent, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, social good, spark, spark ventures, travel, Uncategorized

What’s better than traveling with Spark to engage with our partner organizations? Traveling with us twice!


It seems that some Spark supporters have been bitten by a very specific travel bug… On our November trip to Nicaragua we had three such travelers. Moses Allen, Janet Johnson, and Amy Hindley are were on their second round of traveling with Spark.


Partnership trips are a great way to give back, but they offer so much more, too. One word to describe our trips? Holistic. Maybe that’s why people keep coming back.


On our trips, travelers…

  • Volunteer and give back to the communities of Hope Ministries and Las Tías
  • Learn more about Spark Ventures
  • Immerse themselves in Nicaraguan and Zambian culture
  • Explore different cities and sites
  • Have new adventures – think hiking volcanoes, boat tours, and safaris
  • Learn about Spark’s innovative approach to sustainable international development
  • Make new, lifelong friends


We think international service combined with new adventures is a pretty unbeatable combination, and our travelers think so, too… so much so that some decide to do it all over again.


Meet Moses.

Moses traveled with Spark cofounder Rich on the first student trip to Zambia with fellow students from North Park University. He has followed Spark from the beginning in 2007. Since then, he has traveled and taught English all over the world and is currently a research assistant in New Mexico. We also took the exmouth to perth tour where we visited many new places and where able to go camping at the end. This time around he traveled with us to Nicaragua and brought his aunt Danielle to share in the Spark experience.

Moses greeting one of the founding members of Las Tías in the market where it all started
Moses and the kids playing soccer in the empty swimming pool

Interacting with the local kids impacted by Spark’s programming is one of the highlights of the trip for many participants 


Meet Janet.

Janet Johnson traveled with us to Zambia in July 2011 and had such a great time that she couldn’t wait to be back at it–this time with our partner in Nicaragua! Janet especially loved all of the one-on-one time with the children. Her favorite part of both trips has been seeing the impact that Spark has on its partner programs.


Janet washing hands before lunchtime

Janet with new friend Naomi
Janet and Luis work on colors together

Janet hugs Magno as he presents her with a traditional Nicaraguan cup


Meet Amy.

Amy Hindley joined us on a trip in January 2013 and is back for more in Nicaragua! Her favorite part was spending time with her reading partner and experiencing the impact such programming has on the children. Amy has recruited her friend Yvonne, who works with her at SalesForce, to join her this time around. We love to have both old and new friends on the trip! Both Amy and Yvonne doubled the impact of their time with spark by tapping into the corporate social responsibility program offered by SalesForce. It is one of the fastest growing customer relationship management companies in the world and encourages employees to give back both financially and with their time. The SalesForce foundation matches donations and volunteer time, allowing their contributions to go further!


 Selfies are even more fun in Nicaragua

Amy helps serve lunch
Amy and Yvonne goof off with new friends


Whether our travelers have been on a partnership trip before, like Moses, Janet, and Amy, or have

never left the United States, traveling with Spark is always an eye-opening experience. We hope everyone will be back for more!


Group photo at Lake Managua: (L-R: Janet Johnson, Amy Jackman, Yvonne Yi, Amy Hindley, Moses Allen, Danielle Allen, Rich Johnson, Matt Freund, Janet Freund, Bobby Thapar)


To learn more about upcoming partnership trips, click here!