Testimonials & Stories

Immersion2016 web


Zoraida Soza Sanchez, IPM Project Partner


“It’s always a pleasure when more people from other countries realize the existence of this organization and the important work that we do to benefit women, children, and youth…It’s also interesting that the youth get to know the initiatives that work to guarantee the well being of the most vulnerable sectors of society…IPM is giving an opportunity to the youth so that they have the tools to contribute to the construction of a new society.”


G. Jeffrey MacDonald, Journalist & Author

From MacDonald’s most recent book, “Thieves in the Temple”: “These trips aim to deepen [participants’] faith by allowing them to experience how their hosts live, get to know their hosts on a personal basis, and resist the urge to fix immediately their hosts’ material problems. [Participants] ideally return home from IPM trips with changed perspectives – and with hearts widened by compassion for people who face difficult challenges every day.”


Dorothy Nyong’o, Director, Africa Cancer Foundation & IPM Project Coordinator

“We very much enjoyed the warm welcome accorded to us  at the 40th anniversary celebrations in Cleveland, as well as the camaraderie among all the Partners. We are proud to be associated with this organization that is changing lives around the world in very fundamental ways through sustainable projects and capacity-building.”



“I have learned to be resourceful, humble, patient, and kind when using materials or water. I have learned to be thankful and that I can help not only those around the world but also the people at home who need help, and that has made me an aware global citizen.”
Emily Keller
“This whole experience has increased my awareness. I have learned to be more accepting of diversity, more grateful for what I have and my family and education. I have become especially motivated because of this experience and I would like to make people more aware of what has happened in El Salvador.”
“This experience makes me want to do more. It makes me more conscious of everything I do and all of the resources I use. It makes me more aware of how truly blessed I am, encouraging me to use my blessings to make the world a better place. After traveling to countries like El Salvador, I know that I want to work with the poor and do all I can to help those who need it most.”
“Because many Americans that come from the same background are very privileged, sometimes we are blinded by our privileges and don’t see the poverty present throughout the world. Seeing this poverty closely in the past week, makes me see how even if the Salvadoran people are less fortunate, they value certain things in our life more than we do, and I want to strive to have that kind of spirit that they do. To value relationships, pursue my passions, help out the people in my community, and spread that spirit.”
“I realized that where I choose to spend my money could make a difference. As companies expand to global markets we have to make sure that they are still behaving in a proper manner. The trip has really made me want to be more sure where my things come from and make sure they are practicing in humane ways.”
“This experience made me realize that all people are responsible for the actions of their country through the process of voting and political awareness. I want to be more of a global citizen by being more aware of who I elect into office and what they stand for in their values. Being more politically active and sharing stories of the people here will help create an atmosphere of social justice in my own community at home.”
Harry Crimi
“I can say for certain that my life can now be considered to be “ruined” because of how much I’ve been enlightened by Nicaragua’s culture and history. Seeing how they live, and recognizing their simple, yet complex techniques of life will forever effect my own thoughts and actions.” … “I’ve visited Lima, Peru and surrounding areas in the past, wherein I was revealed the poor people’s lifestyles – however this trip with IPM (Nicaragua) has made me feel immersed in the culture, ultimately resulting in a self-reflection on my life and what I can do in order to better the world.”
Matthew Erti
“It [the Immersion Experience] ruined the idea that I could live a comfortable life back at home. I can’t do that anymore because I can understand the pain that the people of El Salvador have felt so I realize that I am obliged to do something. I can’t ignore people who are suffering, especially after witnessing their struggle. I’m unsettled because I know that I have to do something.”
Cesar Garcia
“Prior to the trip, I had a tendency to think that every very low-income community needed thing like affordable healthcare and sanitation services the most. But I think the trip helped me realize that beyond this, many of those communities just need jobs, opportunities, and unifying sense of purpose, just like communities in the States. The experience challenged me to consider whether my idea of poverty could be accurate given my limited perspective.”… “I think the experience readily convinced me that working with the marginalized is not easy or comfortable. But it also showed me that there are few causes more rewarding or important. I met so many people working with the world’s poorest and loving every moment of it. I am now filled with their same fire and a restlessness, and I am excited to put that energy to work.”
“This Immersion Experience has definitely educated me on the power of a small group of people could do. To see how all the different project partners began and how they developed was amazing. It makes me feel like I do have the power and ability to help others even if I feel like I don’t have much to offer financially. This has made me more motivated to get involved in helping communities back home while also helping others understand more about Nicaragua.”
Visaury Moreta
“I think the highlight was the sweat lodge experience- I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it but it was much more manageable than I had expected. I also really liked their explanation that the more work and effort you put into your prayers, the more weight they will carry. I am not a very religious person, but I felt so spiritual and at peace in the hut.”
“I will never again excuse myself for excessive use of water and other resources. I can never again turn a blind eye to rampant consumerism or US foreign affairs. My heart is simultaneously torn apart at the seams and awoken with new vigor to love- where, how, when, for what reason will I ever love like this again?”
Meghan Toomey
Group Leader