Remarks by Ambassador
December 19, 2016
Good morning special guests, Access camp counselors from Nicaragua and from the United States, teachers and staff, and Access students. Welcome to the closing ceremony of the seventh edition of the English Access Camp in Nicaragua. I’d like to thank all the different organizations and individuals who supported this camp such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Peace Corps, Red Cross, Casa Alianza, Alumni, CCNN, and Access Coordinators for facilitating all the activities of the last few days. Please join me in a round of applause for all the hard work they have done.
We are especially grateful to the Peace Corps Volunteers who serve all over Nicaragua and have chosen to help out at this camp this week. Thank you Volunteers for sharing U.S. culture here – it really helps participants to better understand English when they have the opportunity to interact with native speakers who are so engaging. And students, thank you for being bold in your interactions with los norteamericanos.
Today we are very proud to celebrate the conclusion of another Access achievement because of what it means to our countries, our people and our program. It represents not just the achievement of a goal in the lives of these Access students, but also represents the desire of our youth to improve and succeed in life. Our goal is to help students become well-prepared citizens to face the challenges of the future, but also to help their communities and thus, their country. I have been really impressed by the youth of Nicaragua. There are many who have potential to be leaders, and those who have English have even greater potential to lead and succeed on an international level. I think some of Nicaragua’s future leaders are sitting right here. I hope you have taken the opportunity this week to get to know each other.
This generation of the program is well represented by different regions of Nicaragua: Bluefields, Esteli, Granada, Managua, Masaya, and San Juan del Sur and of course Jinotega! These are cities with different realities, but with one common desire: the desire to become better citizens day by day.
During this Camp you have learned about personal values and aspects of American culture. But, mainly you have learned about the power of motivation and how it can change your life in a positive sense. Also, this has been an eco-friendly camp, which is very important because taking care of our environment is one of our main responsibilities as human beings. I hope that upon your return to your home towns, you will bring the energy and actions you learned at this camp to improve the quality of life for your community.
After you go home from here and your life routines start up again, don’t forget the feelings you had at camp – the thrill of being able to communicate with new friends in another language, the feeling of being unsure but then discovering that you are able to communicate and be understood, and knowing that your hard work is paying off. Keep practicing your English, whether it is with your friends, at school, during sports, or at home. Or, write messages to us in English on our Twitter Page, (@USEmbNicaragua) or Facebook site. We will be posting a message and photo from today.
Have a nice time with your family during your vacation and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope to see you in July for your graduation from the Access Program!