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Finding the Common Threads of Happiness and Home

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As Matt and I reflect on our journey to Nicaragua, there were so many things we took back from this experience. First of all, there has never been a 7 Continents in 7 Years trip that epitomized ‘work hard, play hard’ more than this one. The hikes were difficult, the accommodations ‘rustic’ at best and there was a ton of work to do. No complaints from our team though, as we got back much more than we gave. The children’s laughter and songs and the awestruck faces when the lights came on for the first time were gifts to our group.

Once we arrived at Mukul Resort it was all about the play! It was one of the most beautiful, luxurious and relaxing places on Earth. We had private pools outside each of our rooms, ate the most incredible food and were driven in golf carts around the mountains of the Emerald Coast.

It was interesting for us to experience such extremes in a relatively short amount of time. One place seemingly had ‘nothing’ and the other, anything you could imagine was at your fingertips. With all of those differences there were also striking similarities. The people of Plantanal and at Mukul Resort treated us like family, the smiles were warm and welcoming and we felt at home. The Nicaraguan people warmed our hearts and will impact us for years to come. We were reminded that joy and modern conveniences aren’t mutually tied together and ‘things’ don’t equal happiness. We are grateful to Viridian for the experience and the more we travel the world, the more we realize how much we all have in common!

Our names are Jenna & Matthew Stockwell and we are Generation V.

In March 2015, Viridian traveled to the breathtakingly beautiful and still mostly undeveloped “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” To complete our most ambitious project to date, we hiked to the small agricultural community of Portrero Platanal, an off-the-grid village that’s inaccessible by car. With the help of the nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives, we were able to install clean, reliable solar systems on the homes of 40 families, bringing the opportunity for a better life to an entire community.