A Spring of Service: Guatemala Mission Trip

Shannon Ahern ‘20, Features Head Writer

The Redwings of Benet Academy typically venture to many different places over spring break, but one of the most special trips taken each year is to Antigua, Guatemala. Twenty students and five adults embarked on this Benet-sponsored service trip that allowed them to live and interact with host families in Central America. This unique opportunity to do good for those in need was a major success for everyone involved.  The Benet volunteers built four houses just outside of Antigua for families who do not have adequate living conditions. In addition, the group worked at an orphanage for abused or neglected children, witnessed a unique Guatemalan Lenten procession, shopped at an open-air market, and even went on a ziplining expedition.   

    This is one of the many Guatemalan service trips that Benet volunteers have taken part in over the years, and participants always have tremendous reviews about their experience. Mr. Greg Frey has said, “I am very proud of the work of all the students and adults.This was our 8th trip to Guatemala, and Benet Academy has now helped to build thirty houses for families since 2014.  The most powerful part of the trip is always handing the keys over to the family. Whether volunteers speak Spanish or not, that moment and all the work leading up to it goes beyond language. I think most volunteers would agree that our lives are changed as much as the lives of the families who are receiving a new home.” This experience clearly has an incredible impact on volunteers and is an unforgettable way to change the lives of families in Antigua.

Junior Matt Oliva said, “One of the most memorable moments from the trip was when we finished constructing the house and a little five-year-old boy came running up to us as we were leaving and screamed ‘Gracias por la casa!’ It was something so small but meaningful because it really made me see what we accomplished together as a group and the difference we can make in the world.” This was an incredibly meaningful way for these Redwings to spend their spring break, as they came together to make a positive impact on the world. During a season that celebrates new life and beginnings, it is only fitting that individuals help contribute to giving their fellow humans a chance to start over.