HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 31, 2016 – Two groups of High Point University students spent their fall break improving and assisting communities in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Seven HPU students partnered with nine members of Oak Ridge United Methodist Church on a service trip to Guatemala. There, they worked with low income families to build stoves that would lessen the smoke in their houses and served people in the area by distributing water filtration systems, vitamins, clothes, shoes and small toys to families.
Students lived in the community they served, learning not only how to assemble the stoves and water filtration systems they administered, but about the way of life Guatemala. They also had the opportunity to assist with cooking traditional Guatemalan meals, experience what a market in rural Guatemala is like and spend the week working like those they served.
“I believe that trips like the one to Guatemala provide students the opportunity to really understand the world that’s going on around them. It’s easy to get swept up in day-to-day life and believe that everyone’s lives are the exact same as our own,” says Anna Ventrone, coordinator of residential services at HPU and adviser for the trip. “This trip provided the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, which then pushed students to learn, and grow, as Dr. Nido Qubein often encourages our students.”
Seventeen students from the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity traveled to Grecia, Costa Rica, and joined the Strong Missions organization to serve the local community.
Students visited Los Guido, an impoverished community in San José, to help with a feeding program, worked on finishing the Community Outreach Center in Grecia, and served as conversation partners with students learning English at a local school.
The students worked on multiple projects such as creating structures for indoor and outdoor drop down ceilings, tiling floors and building bathrooms. Once the Community Center is finished, it will serve the greater community to help at-risk youth focus their energy into sports and dance, avoiding involvement in gang activity.