BSM’s servant leadership reaches Honduras

Photo courtesy of Allison O'Neil
Senior Jacqui Theisen speaks with one of the girls.

Emily Anderson, Staff Writer

While many students could be found working or relaxing by the lake this summer, 31 BSM students, along with senior high teachers Mr. Matthew McMerty-Brummer, Ms. Lidibette Guzman, Ms. Megan Kern, and Mr. Keith Jones traveled over 3000 miles to an orphanage called Farm of the Child in La Ceiba, Honduras. By spending eleven days of their summer helping a community in another part of the world, they continued BSM’s tradition of service learning.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s has offered the Honduras mission trip to senior high kids three times in the past two years. The mission of the trip was centered on the organization Farm of the Child, an orphanage on the north coast of Honduras. According to the orphanage’s website, its goal is to “care for and improve the physical, educational, spiritual, and social needs of the orphaned, abandoned and neglected children of Honduras so that they may become productive, Christian members of Honduras society.”

Despite the scorching July heat, BSM students helped out by painting fences, playing soccer with the kids, sorting donations, and organizing the library. These seemingly small tasks helped to lighten the loads of the full-time missionaries so that they could spend more time with the children. “I think the biggest impact we had on the Farm of the Child was that we helped do a lot of other things that missionaries would have had to do. For example, the kids reorganized their supplies. That freed them up to do other things during the day with the kids at the children’s home,” Kern said.

In addition to impacting the local community, the BSM missionaries’ perspectives were changed by the culture of Honduras. “They don’t have the resources that we have here and they strive with the resources that they do have. They are happy to have the opportunity to learn,” Guzman said.

Benefitting both the people served, as well as the participants, the experience proved to be very powerful. “We were able to put faith, Spanish skills, and principles of Catholic Social Teaching into action. The trip challenged all of us to walk in solidarity, and to be flexible,” McMerty-Brummer said.

The students were moved by the simpler life of this culture, and it showed them how fortunate they are. “It made me see how much is different, but also the same between all of us. It was amazing to see and experience how beautiful the country was and how the people and the culture weren’t different from us,” junior Riley Simonetti said.