Heithoff, LEAD Team Heads to Central America

An ocean breeze, blue skies, beaches and tropical trees … all what one would consider ideal conditions to a winter vacation getaway. For one Elgin farmer, however, this getaway is going to be mainly work with very little — if any — play. Keith Heithoff, along with 27 fellow Nebraska LEAD (Leadership, Education, Action, Development) classmates flew out of Omaha on Wednesday (today) for a 15-day tour of the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Along with the packing of luggage, a little polishing of the Spanish language would be advised. “Se hablo espanol,” quipped Heithoff, then adding  “Un poquito”. Fortunately for him and the other members, a guide/translator will help them navigate the language pitfalls since “I speak a little bit of Spanish” only gets a person so far.

Having taken a earlier LEAD trip to Washington DC late last summer, this trip will mark the class’s first international voyage. The trip’s purpose is to allow members the opportunity to view three countries at varying stages of development. “We’ll get a little back and forth…a chance to see how the other side of the world works,” he said. Earlier LEAD seminars/trips which Heithoff has participated in have included that Washington visit to observe Congress at work, comparisons of new and clean energy sources here in Nebraska, a trip to the western end of the state to investigate the water issues and moratoriums in place and being considered, and population issues across the state plus many more issues that affect Nebraskans.

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