Beth Merrill grew up in Middlesex, VT, attending U-32 High School. While a student at Hamilton College, she spent a semester abroad in Nicaragua in an internship program, where she was able to practice her Spanish and came to appreciate the culture and lifestyle in Central American. Her internship consisted of teaching first grade to a group of students whose teacher was on maternity leave. Teaching first grade proved to be one of the most overwhelming, but also rewarding and formative experiences. Teaching 40 6-12 year olds she gained an appreciation for the human and material resources available in schools and libraries in the US. Needless to say, without books to teach kids reading, the job as a first grade teacher was difficult. She dreamed of accessing the abundance of school supplies available in the US and donating them to teachers with little to no access to these supplies in Nicaragua. Years later, in 2001, this dream became a reality as Planting Hope was formed and began it´s mission to promote education in Nicaragua in whatever way it could.
Beth currently splits her time between her home in Montpelier, Vermont and her other home in San Ramon, Nicaragua. She lives with her husband, Josue “Joka” Montalvan and children, Ezra, 8 and Maizy, 2.
2014 Service Adventure Trip Coordinators
classes at Mt. Mansfield Union High School. At age 15, she saved up her babysitting money to pay the airfare to visit her brother, a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica. That experience got her hooked on Spanish and other cultures.
Link to History Page: