Meet Timmy Gonzalez
When Timmy got on a plane for Uruguay with other Wildwood students for a 10-day International Community Involvement trip, it was the first time he'd been out of the country. "The day we arrived in Uruguay I was so nervous," recalls Timmy. "We drove down the street, the trip leaders would say someone's name, and they'd get dropped off in front of the house where they'd be staying. It was nerve-wracking."
But after a day with his host family, Timmy felt right at home. "There were two brothers who loved to rock-climb, and I got to meet their friends and go to a barbecue with them," he recalls. "I learned how you can form a close bond in a short amount of time."
He also got a new experience in the classroom, where he and a partner designed a project for elementary school students at the Colegio Banneux. "We taught the English alphabet, the names of different animals, and foods," says Timmy. "I've never had a job before, so it really gave me a sense of the responsibility involved when others rely on you."
The kids only spoke Spanish, which challenged Timmy to put his language skills to the test. "I can speak Spanish fairly well because of my classes at Wildwood. I got a lot more comfortable speaking, and I can see the difference in my vocabulary and pronunciation."
Timmy may have started the trip to Uruguay out of his comfort zone, but now his world is a bigger place, and he's working on his Spanish so he can embark on his next big journey, wherever that may take him.