Sidbury teen’s expedition experience

Kesiah Moss, 19, of David’s Close, helped build a community centre in a remote community in Nicaragua

A SIDBURY gap year student says a two-month expedition in Central America changed her life.

Kesiah Moss, 19, of David’s Close, helped build a community centre in a remote community in Nicaragua and played a part in creating tourism boosting trails on an active volcano in Costa Rica.

Former Sidmouth College student Kesiah said: “I had the fewest possessions ever - just a rucksack- but it was probably the happiest two months of my life.

“It was an experience I will never forget. I didn’t want to come home”

She this week thanked Sidmouth Town Council for a Chairman’s Trust contribution which helped her jet out on the Raleigh International trip in February.

Kesiah said she made friends for life and even got ‘a new mum and dad’ during her stay- but scenes of poverty and a big culture shock left their mark on her.

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She added: “I’m extremely grateful for what I have now. The people there have so little but are so happy.”

Kesiah spent the first month of her trip on a community project in La Colemena in the Miraflor reserve of Nicaragua.

The expedition worked on a multi-purpose community centre and also taught English to school kids.

A couple and their three children in the remote community took the Sidmouth teen and her colleagues in.

“We called Martah and Santos our mum and dad when we were there,” said Kesiah.

“The five of them all slept in one room and they insisted on giving up their bedroom for us.

The second month of Kesiah’s trip was spent on an environment project in Costa Rica, building trails on active Volcan Turrialba, and in the jungle of Braulio Carillo National Park.

Work was part of a programme to boost tourism facilities and to help allow rangers to protect the area’s array of animal species from poachers.

“I never thought I’d be going up on an active volcano!,” said Kesiah, who lugged huge bags of gravel over challenging terrain every day for three weeks.

Sidmouth Town Council’s Chairman’s Trust was set up in 1991 and allows for small amounts of money to be given to individuals. Cash has helped many young people over the years.