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Red Knights Show Leadership in Guatemala

Red Knights Show Leadership in Guatemala
  • Activities
  • Community
  • Senior High School

Written by Marketing & Communications Intern Julia Lealos '24

Thirty one Red Knights spent their first days of summer break in Guatemala building homes as part of the God’s Child Project (GCP). Over the course of eight days in June, students stayed with host families in Antigua to fully immerse themselves in the culture, history, and Spanish language while making a meaningful contribution to the community.

This is BSM’s eighth annual service learning mission trip to Guatemala organized and led by BSM Spanish teacher Matthew McMerty-Brummer, accompanied by BSM faculty Chuck Dudek, Heidi Wessman, and Tim Frye. The trip is in collaboration with the Dreamer Center, the Central American operational base for GCP.

Red Knights worked hard and played hard on the trip, constructing four houses and four outdoor kitchens in addition to spending time with the families receiving the homes. “Each day we go home to eat lunch with our host families and back out to the God’s Child Project Headquarters to spend time with kids and to help cook their lunch,” said students Alex Golla ‘26 and Mateo Figueroa ‘26. “We spent our time doing many activities like soccer, playing on the playground, frisbee, etc.”

“One particularly poignant moment happened at Team Wessman’s new home when the little girl thanked the team for giving her her first bed and shared how excited she was to show her friends her new home,” shared McMerty-Brummer after the completion of one of the houses.

In addition to the building projects, students were able to explore Guatemala through several excursions. Red Knights visited the Mayan ruins of Iximche, the original Spanish capital, the scenic Lake Atitlan, a textile and chocolate cooperative, a traditional marketplace, and La Merced, one of the most iconic churches in Antigua.

“The trip was very impactful especially when we were able to show the new house that we built to the family.” said Leah Smith ‘25. “I would also like to thank the wonderful chaperones. They were always willing to help, so I greatly thank them.”

This trip was established by members of the BSM world language department in 2015 under the leadership of department chair Megan Hansen and in partnership with GCP. Since then, a total of 277 BSM students and faculty have participated in the mission trips and have built 36 homes. For more information about how to get involved in next year’s trip, contact Matthew McMerty-Brummer.

  • service-learning

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About Benilde-St. Margaret's School
Benilde-St. Margaret's (BSM) is a Catholic, co-educational private prep school for grades 7–12 located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, that draws its over one thousand students from throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The mission of BSM is to educate, empower, and inspire learners within a Catholic community to lead lives of faith, achieve academic excellence, and contribute meaningfully to a global society.

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