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2011 FHS Grad Holding Fundraiser for Nicaraguan Service Trip

Kailie Gulino co-leading trip to bring clean water to village community.

Farmington native Kailie Gulino is excited about changing the world – at least, changing the world for a small community of people she’s come to love in Nicaragua.

Gulino, a sophomore at Johnson State College and 2011 Farmington High School graduate, spent her February break last year working on a service project in the town and this year plans to return as a co-leader of the trip.

She goes through a national project called Break Away.

“We go out during February break and do community service and people apply and don’t know where they’re going,” Gulino said by phone recently. “This year I’m co-leading the trip to Nicaragua to work on clean water solutions.”

The work began last year, with Gulino’s first trip and Break Away has committed to continue it to completion after five years.

The goal is to bring clean water – once an impossibility – to the small village.

“It’s really hard to describe how awesome it is,” Gulino said. “It’s definitely a culture shock to see people living without something we have.”

On the island, all the water comes from a volcano. The work involves channeling the water through a pipe and installing faucets in the villagers’ homes.

Gulino describes little children who no longer have trek miles to reach water.

“’Now I have this water, I don’t have to walk all the way down to the lake to wash in dirty water,’” she explained.

In 2012, Gulino’s team connected more than 200 people, with 43 faucets in a week. This year, they hope to do more. 

“Last year, we ran out of tools. This year we want to make sure we have more tools, better stuff and are really going in full force to get everything connected,” she said.

To meet the need, Gulino is holding a fundraiser Oct. 13 from 11:30 to 3 p.m. at the East Farmington Fire Department. No tickets are needed.

“The fundraiser we’re doing not only to raise money but also to raise awareness. Everyone knows people don’t have clean water but first-hand experiences change things,” Gulino said.

The fundraiser will feature 31 Bags available for sale and a raffle from local businesses, including Naples, Sparkles, Truffles and many others. There will also be foods native to Nicaraguan foods, including beans and rice and Spanish desserts, as well as little sandwiches.

Gulino will share information about the trip, with a slideshow about Break Away and Nicaragua.

Though Gulino spoke some Spanish and her companions very little, the residents they were helping had no problem communicating their gratitude.

“We learned the power of a smile down there. Everyone was so caring, so thankful and at the end they threw a party for us. Little girls did a dance and they all dressed up – it was beautiful. They’re just really appreciative for everything they have.” 

The East Farmington Volunteer Fire Department is at 94 South Road, Farmington.

Lori Fleming October 08, 2012 at 02:31 PM
So proud of you Kailie Renee! Helping others & changing the world one village at a time. You were always destined for greatness. Hug all those babies for us. God bless you & safe travels my sweets!
Laura Vibert October 08, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Great job, keep up the good work!!
Suzanne, Pauline and John Cichon October 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM
You have grown into such a beautiful and caring woman. We are so proud of you and your accomplishments! Love, Suzanne, Pauline & John
Amy LaBarge October 08, 2012 at 04:00 PM
So proud of you Kailie. Love Amy
Rich and Twila Palmer October 08, 2012 at 08:59 PM
WOW to think of KK as a "plumber" in a foreign country is a feat that we are so proud of. The family loves to hear you tell your stories of the adventures in Nicaraqqua as you tell them such passion and determination...follow your dreams and your heart sweet girl. We love you Gram and Papa Palmer

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