Students returning to Guatemala for enlightening experience

Katie Hoesley

The Guatemala mission trip has long been offered to students after their junior and senior years, and the upcoming group will depart a mere five days after school’s end. The group of 31 students and teachers, including adviser Senora Lidibette Rosado-Guzman and Mr. John Porisch will fly from Minneapolis to Guatemala on June 11 and return June 23. Their destination is the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanage in Guatemala where they will be doing service work for twelve days.

“The students will serve abandoned and orphaned children in Guatemala,” said Senora Guzman of the time the students will be spending at the NPH orphanage.  “Every free minute we had we played with the kids, ate meals with them, and attended some of their English classes,” said past participant 2008 graduate Elle Zeman, attesting to the fact that the best experience had by the students on trips past has unanimously been playing with the kids who live there.
Aside from the enjoyable time with the kids, the cultural and educational experiences the attendees will undoubtedly attain are huge motivators for many. “I can’t wait to experience a new country and their culture and learn about it, and of course work at the orphanage with all the kids,” said junior Meredith Lawlor. During their time free of work, the students will be able to participate in activities that are within walking distance from the orphanage such as playing soccer and shopping at local markets.

While working in Guatemala, the students will be immersed in the culture and will travel into the markets and cities via the public transportation systems.
“I’m really excited to see the differences between our culture compared to that of Guatemala,” said junior Annalisa Huge.

Aside from simply being around to assist with the children who reside at the orphanage and participate in physical labor, the BSM community will be bringing much more with them. During the spring months prior to the trip, a “hygiene drive” is occurring at BSM. “We are collecting much needed hygiene, clothing, and other necessary items and donating them to the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos program, the program we’re helping out with during our time there,” said Huge.

“We split up into a bunch of groups, and each group is focusing on one particular category of items to collect and bring with us to Guatemala,” said junior Margo Graff. Aside from the hygiene products collected at BSM, the group is collecting clothing, school supplies, medicine, and sports equipment, and all of the items collected will be brought with the group to the orphanage and donated to the children. “Being able to give these kids some of the things we take for granted every day that they want so much is something I’m really looking forward to,” said Graff.

In years past, the jobs the students were given included making a foundation for the seating at a soccer stadium, painting buildings and rooms, and of course, playing with the kids. “Making connections with the kids was so rewarding. It was the best feeling in the world when they would remember your name for the first time,” said Zeman. The students, after traveling down to Guatemala, will be given a number of tasks to complete which assist the NPH orphanage.

The trip, in the past, has had a profound impact on those students who have attended. “This is a trip that I can’t recommend enough for BSM students,” said Zeman, “it was hands down the best experience I had in high school and I am dying to find a way to go back.”