Students impacted by trip to Guatemala

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Photo courtesy of Megan Collins

While they did many different jobs at the orphanage such as weeding and planting, the students had a chance to play with the kids everyday.

Kelly Dwyer, staff writer

Over the 2011 spring break, 31 students and four teachers spent eight days at Nuestro Pequenos Hermanos Orphanage in Guatemala. They spent their time working in the fields, painting houses, and playing with the 350 kids in the orphanage.

Seniors Martha Hogan and Katie Michurski helped plan the spring break trip to Guatemala because both had gone during the 2010 summer trip. “We approached Ms. Guzman with the idea to do a spring break trip at the beginning of the year, and this trip was a total success. I thought it was better than last trip. We did a lot of work but still had a lot of fun,” said Hogan.

This was the first year that BSM took a spring break trip to the orphanage; usually the teachers and students go during the summer. Along with timing of the trip, other things differed from last year. “We had eight days of no rain, which is very rare when we go in the summer months. We also had a chef, that cooked us meals. Lastly, almost everyone stayed healthy throughout the trip, which was good,” said Mr. John Porisch, one of the chaperons who went on the trip.

This year the housing situation was different than years past, and it helped to strengthen bonds between people on the trip. “The girls stayed in a room with a bunch of beds [instead of] the house we stayed in with multiple rooms. We got to know everyone a lot better this time. I made many new friends with kids from our school,” said Hogan.

The trip impacted everyone, both students and chaperons. “When I look back on the trip, I think that our students see things differently now. It puts their lives into perspective, because they see that these kid’s lives are so much different from theirs, and it’s the little things, like stopping to give someone a hug in the hallway [instead of] just walking past them, that I think they learned to do,” said Mr. Porisch.

The week was spent doing many different jobs to help the orphanage, like weeding and painting; however, every day the students had a chance to play with the kids and learned a lot from them. “The kids have [a much] harder life than we do, and they’re still so happy and so full of love,” said senior Claire Hayden.

The kids at the orphanage made an impact on many of the students that went. “My favorite part of the trip was going to one of the houses at night and getting to see the little girls and how excited they were to see you,” said Hayden.