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Students Moved by Guatemala Exposure Trip Experience

The CDSBEO Board of Trustees had the privilege of hearing testimonials from Catholic secondary students who had the opportunity to participate in the Guatemala Exposure Trip in March. Clearly moved by their life-changing, profound experiences, the group gave an emotional and heartfelt account of their time in Guatemala.

Twenty-five students from St. Mary Catholic High School, St. Luke Catholic High School, St. John Catholic High School, St. Michael Catholic High School, and Notre Dame Catholic High School, along with six supervisors, participated in the experience. The students spent the majority of the week in a village called Anibal Archila, working in the community. Over the course of their stay, the students painted homes, and helped to build a road with interlock stones which will help to reduce mud in the wet season, and reduce dust in the dry season.

The students were impacted tremendously by the relationships which were developed during their visit.

“Although we think we are privileged for all the materialistic things that we possess, we soon discovered that these children are the ones who are truly blessed,” noted Alicia McBride, a student from St. Michael CHS. “All the joy and happiness that we shared was their gift to us. They have a contagious smile, and they never once complained.”

“We worked alongside Guatemalans, chatted with the locals, and played with the children. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we made some incredible friendships, just by giving of ourselves and by interacting with and watching them,” explained Emma Kealy, from St. John CHS.

“Whenever we bought treats from the local shops, we were giving back to the community. Our donations of basic necessities helped families through tough times, and also helped students go to school. Our monetary donations helped to pay for the road building supplies, the paint, and even the local construction workers wages to assist us with our tasks. Spending our week in this community taught us the true meaning of service,” noted Mary Cowan, from St. John Catholic High School.

“There are not enough words to describe how amazing and life changing the Guatemala exposure trip was,” began Elora Wales, a student from St. Mary CHS. “The second we arrived we were welcomed with smiles, firecrackers, dancing, tears of joy, and an overwhelming sense of community and love.”

The students expressed their gratitude for having the opportunity to participate in the experience.

“I would like to compliment the students on their presentation tonight, and for sharing with us your emotions, and how this has affected your lives in a meaningful way,” noted Vice-Chair Ron Eamer. “Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.”

“I would like to thank the staff. I know the dedication and leadership you brought will never be forgotten by these students,” concluded Chair Todd Lalonde.

Group photo of students in Guatemala

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