Tobati cultivates KO community


All of the amazing opportunities KO offers allow students to be involved and experience many unique activities. One specific trip that KO offers is to Tobati, Paraguay in South America.

Spanish teacher Ronald Garcia has run this trip every year since 1998, bringing a wide range of students from KO to experience a trip of a lifetime.

Mr. Garcia spent his life growing up in Tobati with many friends and family, where he now shares his journey with many students. Twenty years later, this trip is still popular, with many eager kids to attend. Any student, from freshmen to seniors, can go on the trip.

“This was my first year going on the trip to Tobati, and I absolutely loved it,” sophomore Remy McCoy said. “I made so many new friends from both Tobati and KO. The upperclassmen were all so friendly and made the trip even more fun to be on.”
In the future Remy said she hopes to return back to Paraguay with KO to learn and experience even more.

Junior Jane Dunbar had a similar point of view. “I went on this trip as a sophomore, and it was everything I expected and more,” she said. “It gave me a whole new perspective on new places and people. I loved the trip and hope to go back my senior year.”

In Tobati, kids mostly spend their day with their work groups at different work sites, which allows the relationships between students to grow. In the morning and later on in the day, everyone on the trip gathers and gets the time to bond with teachers, friends, and Paraguayan kids.

“As the only sophomore and a lowerclassman in my work group, I had to immediately form some new friendships,” sophomore Ainsley Vaughn said. “With the welcoming spirits that all the seniors brought, I felt so comfortable and happy.”

Other than group work time, local homes allow students to hang out with friends and relax. Sophomore Kyler Dzielak said that in his house all the guys were mixed up, so it gave everyone a chance to socialize with new people.

Junior Adam Sontag agreed. “I didn’t notice much difference with older or younger kids,” he said. “Everyone hangs out together and [has] a good overall time.”

Freshman Emma Henry said that although it can be intimidating at first to be on a trip with all older kids, she had a great time and looks forward to going back. Emma said that the upperclassmen were all very nice to the lowerclassmen, so everything worked out perfectly.

Through many different perspectives, both the older and younger kids had a great time on this trip, and KO looks forward to many more successful trips to Tobati.