NPH orchestra raises money through inspiring performance

Giulia Imholte

The 24 seniors who journeyed to Guatemala on a mission trip this past August anxiously awaited the arrival of the orphans from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos on Oct. 14. The orphans (ages 10-18) who were here for 20 days touring with the NPH orchestra, shadowed these seniors for a day at BSM.

The Neustros Pequeños Hermanos orchestra consists of children from 10 different orphanages in Central America and Mexico. “The orphans have a really good orchestra, and they came up here to raise awareness and raise money for it,” said Amanda Gales, a senior who participated in the Guatemala trip.

The process of organizing the orphans’ trip to Minnesota was hectic at times and took a lot of coordinating behind the scenes. “Hugh McElroy from the organization Friends of the Orphans organized most of the trip. He knows everyone’s name and has been going down there for years. We helped have BSM as a site for the orphans to visit; Ms. Guzman did a lot of coordinating with the schedule here,” said Mr. John Porisch, a teacher chaperone on the Guatemala trip.

While the orphans were here visiting schools, they stayed with host families and had the chance to experience aspects of everyday American life. Marcelino, one of the orphans, said that he enjoyed biking.

This trip to Minnesota was the first time any of the NPH orphans had been out of the country. “Apparently at the airport the kids were dumbfounded by the escalator and moving walkway. They kept asking, ‘your sidewalks move?’” said Mr. Porisch.

Many of the seniors who travelled to the orphanage in Guatemala expressed their excitement about the arrival of the friends they had made while on the trip. “It was moving being able to connect with everybody. It’s weird seeing [the orphans] here, but it’s exciting, seeing them in a completely different environment,” said senior Sarah Champeau.

Not only did the students enjoy interacting with the orphans, but the teacher chaperones were also touched by the connections their students built. “I see a lot of joy watching how our kids interact with [the orphans]. Also, seeing how tight you can become with a group of people even though they may not be your direct family,” said Mr. Porisch.

However, it is highly unlikely that the orphans will be able to take another trip like this one in the near future because of how complicated the process is for the orphanage, along with the cost. “BSM would absolutely host them again, but on NPH’s part it is a huge undertaking because of all the papers that have to be signed. It is very timely and costly to get such a huge group up here, but hopefully [we can do it] every so often,” said Mr. Porisch.