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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Amigos for Christ: Caputo’s mission trip to Nicaragua

Sacrificing a month of summer to dig trenches and lay concrete in a hot, unsanitary third-world country would not appeal to many students.

For sophomore Nick Caputo, long-stick midfielder on the men’s lacrosse team at Guilford College, it was not a sacrifice.

It was a golden opportunity.

Caputo spent last June in Nicaragua on a mission trip as part of the nonprofit organization, Amigos for Christ. The month- long trip was a result of a similar week long excursion during summer 2012.

“I went down for a week and fell in love with the work and people,” said Caputo. “The head of the organization said he would love for me to come back next year for a month.”

With Amigos for Christ he worked as a short-term servant leader, mainly on the Water and Sanitation Project around Chinandega, Nicaragua.

An average week for Caputo began with climbing one of two volcanoes, one of which was active, as a team-building exercise. Most of his time was spent digging trenches, laying pipe and pouring concrete.

Given the exhausting work, the down time was a plus for Caputo.

The “mission trippers” spent their free time playing baseball and soccer with the native workers.

They also visited handicapped children at Angel’s Orphanage in downtown Chinadega, as well as hanging out at Casa de Abuelos (“grandparents’ home”) with the residents there.

“He (Nick) doesn’t complain and is very humble,” nurse for Amigos for Christ and current resident of Nicaragua Annie Bland said in an email interview. “I always noticed he was doing something, and never just sitting around.

“He works to make people feel comfortable and loved.”

Caputo admitted that there was no shortage of nerves before the trip, but the excitement outweighed the anxiety.

“I was excited, because I love doing missionary work and servant stewardship,” said Caputo.

His parents felt apprehensive as well.

“Up to the day he left, as parents, we were nervous for him,” said Don Caputo, his father. “But Nick could only see the good of his adventure and could not wait to be a part of the organization’s mission of caring.”

“The thought of it was scary, but at the same time we felt such pride for his devotion for this kind of work,” said his mother CathyJo Caputo.

That optimism shined on the playing field just as it did for Amigos for Christ.

“He’s the kind of person that always has a smile on his face,” said senior and midfielder Chase Clausen. “You don’t really see him down on himself or his teammates.”

Men’s lacrosse coach Tom Carmean agreed that Caputo’s choice to go to Nicaragua suits his character and is a decision that many other Guilford athletes have made.

“Our athletes are doing more than what we see them doing on the playing field,” said Carmean.

Caputo’s memories of Nicaragua, especially those of the water inauguration in the village of Miguel Cristiano, will stay with him forever.

“Every single moment I was there was touching,” said Caputo. “You think (seeing the Miguel Cristiano villagers get drenched in clean water for the first time) is the best thing that’s ever happened, until a villager comes up to you, grabs your hand, and says, ‘It’s your turn now.’”

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  • A

    Aunt Verna HuffOct 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Nick is a very special young man. I am so proud of what he is doing and where he is going with his education and his christian way of life. He is a
    example of what our youth should be.

  • R

    Rose and Vince SacconeSep 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    We are very proud of our grandson Nick. Not too many students would give up part of vacation time to dig ditches. Nick has a giving heart and shows it in many ways.