Students travel to Guatemala to serve


Photo Courtesy of Megan Hansen

Kiara Herro, Matthew Nachbor, Claire Hennen, Grace Lira, Nic Dokman, Sam Decker, and Quinn Van Oort work together to help build a house for a Guatemalan family.

Morgan Anderson, Staff Writer

This past summer, forty-eight BSM students and chaperones had the opportunity to travel to Antigua, Guatemala to build houses for families involved with the God’s Child Project. For five years, BSM has partnered with this organization, whose website says that their goal is to “break the bitter chains of poverty through education, healthcare, and housing.”

The work that had to be done was nothing to take lightly. “Going into the trip, I knew we would be working hard, but actually doing the work was totally different. They didn’t have any electric tools—everything was done by hand including mixing cement, digging trenches, cutting through rebar, and moving cinder blocks,” senior Pedro Ochoa said.

The six workgroups had to find a way to effectively work together to finish building six houses with bunk beds and outdoor kitchens in only four days.

“I would like to give a shoutout to my work team because they were absolute rock stars. I can’t stress enough how well they worked together. Construction is very hard, especially when we were building on a steep slope rather than flat ground,” Spanish teacher and chaperone Ms. Alison Terrel said.

Despite the difficult work that the students and chaperones underwent, there were many positive takeaways that came from this trip.

“The amount of work we did was not a surprise for me when I was on the trip. What did surprise me was all of the fun that it was. I will look back at this trip as a significant moment of my high school experiences,” senior Charlie Bischel said.

The amount of work we did was not a surprise for me when I was on the trip. What did surprise me was all of the fun that it was. I will look back at this trip as a significant moment of my high school experiences

— Charlie Bischel

The trip was not a “one-time thing” for junior Sophia Williamson. “I am planning on going on the trip next year and hope that I have a similar experience. It was very eye-opening because the family of the house we built for had basically nothing when we started. I became a lot more appreciative after the trip,” Williamson said.

Ochoa had a different view on the mission trip, as he has family living in Guatemala.

“I usually go to Guatemala with my family, but my mom really pushed me to go on this mission trip. My uncle actually lives about 15 minutes from the airport, and he had to build his house from the ground up by himself. Now that I’ve been on the trip I understand how much time and effort it takes to actually do the work,” Ochoa said.

Students and chaperones alike agreed that the most rewarding part of the trip was the gifting of the house ceremony.

“The family had been there during the days we were working, but the emotions on the final day that we revealed the finished product of the house to them was something I’ve never seen before,” Williamson said.

After seeing the work they had done, the best part was experiencing the gratitude of those they had served. “When we were finished with the house, the mother of the house had given my entire team a handwritten note of gratitude. It made all of the hard work worth it,” Terrel said.

With four days of cultural experience and four days spent working on the house, there was never a dull moment. “It was the perfect combination of giving back and experiencing the sights and cultural experience of the journey,” senior Frida Fortier said.