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Mission Trip 2017
With a wealth of history, culture and natural beauty, Guatemala possesses many riches. The Mayan civilization flourished for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans, and intricate weavings, traditional dress, native languages, ancient pyramids and unique religious ceremonies all stand witness to the historical and cultural wealth of this nation. Lush rain forests, pristine cascading waterfalls, rugged mountain ranges and majestic smoky volcanoes paint the canvas of the Guatemalan landscape.
Yet within all of this beauty, many people live in poverty and struggle to provide for themselves and their families. According to The God's Child Project, Guatemala’s annual per capita income is about $1,000USD. This figure can hide the difficulties faced by families living in extreme poverty, however, as a rural farmer may earn less than $100USD a year. Unemployment is estimated at 20% nationwide and underemployment is as high as 65%. In the countryside, the rural poor often live in one-room shacks made from cane or corn stalks lashed vertically together, while other families make their homes with adobe mud bricks. In both cases, the homes have hard-packed dirt floors and roofs covered with palm branches or pieces of scrap material.
What is our role in this? What does our Catholic faith call us to do? Join us on our journey to Guatemala to deepen your relationship with others, yourself and God. Immerse yourself in the culture and practice your language skills as we live with host families in Antigua and work with host families in the surrounding villages to build homes and outdoor kitchens.
Thank you for your openness to use your hands and your heart to serve and love. We are so blessed to travel with you and pursue our common mission-- to love and serve our God and to answer His call to love and serve each other. Over our ten days you will stretch, grow, love and be loved in ways that today you cannot yet imagine.
We look forward to accompanying you on our journey to Guatemala. It is our hope that this trip will be a fruitful experience and that each of you will grow closer to God by doing God’s work. Be flexible, open-minded and prepare your heart, mind, body and soul for the adventure of faith, service and love upon which you are about to embark.
Departure from Minneapolis/St. Paul – July 9, 2017
Departure from Guatemala to Minneapolis – July 18, 2017
In teams of about seven students and one BSM chaperone, students will work with a local mason and the recipient family to build a home and an outdoor kitchen. While the mason guides the process, the students do all of the work by hand. The workday will be approximately from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
In order to learn about Guatemala and appreciate all of the natural beauty and history that it has to offer us, we will also participate in several cultural excursions.
- Antigua – colonial city
- Iximche – Mayan ruins
- Lake Atitlán – volcanic lake
- Chichicastenango – handicrafts market
- AquaMagic – black-sand beach and water park
$2,800 ($1,000 deposit by check and four installments of $450 billed to tuition)
- Includes transportation, food, lodging, fees, building materials and excursions.
- Students will be responsible for their meals in the airport.
- Student may bring some extra money to buy gifts or souvenirs and meals/snacks the day of excursions.
- Must currently be in grades 9-11.
- Must possess a valid passport, must be current and valid through December 31, 2017.
- Be in good health and carry at least twenty-five pounds. Please know that we will be working at construction sites for at least eight hours per day.
- Students who are in poor academic or behavioral standing or who are in arrears on tuition payments may not be allowed to participate in a trip. This decision will be at the discretion of the student’s principal, in coordination with the trip leader, appropriate deans, and the finance office.
- Students and chaperones will stay with middle-class host families in Antigua. There will be at least two studnets with each host family.
- In case of an emergency, participants will have access to the health clinic that it is located in the premises.
- Submit paperwork and nonrefundable deposit by Thursday, December 15 to Sra. Hansen (room 136) or Sr. MB (room 139)
- Written application
- Nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 to BSM (Guatemala service learning in memo line)
- Passport copy (valid until December 31, 2017)
- Visit the Travel Clinic for immunization and medications or check with your family physician prior to departure.
- Hepatitis A
- Anti-diarrheal antibiotic
- Other doctor recommendations
- Megan Hansen
- Frédérique Toft
- Katy O'Brien
- Eric Luna Martin
- Matt McMerty-Brummer