Brevin Scullion and Kaleb McCloud
Jamesville-DeWitt High School students have been participating in a mission trip to help a community in El Salvador through Holy Cross Church for many years. For seven days J-DHS students experienced the ways of life for those in El Salvador, along with trying to help improve the living conditions for them.
El Salvador is located in Central America. Known for its struggling economy and warm climate, many people have difficulties in every aspect of their life. Though El Salvador has a murder rate 22 times that of the US, according to ABC News, students felt very safe while there. “Since I have been going for so many years, I’m used to all the traveling and the area. Even the first timers felt safe and welcomed,” said junior Tanner Gunn whose parents are chaperones. “We were in a better part of the country so there was really no need to worry,” said junior Grace Thomas. Students also dealt with the intense heat while doing tough labor. This may have been a hardship at first, but after a while it was easier to deal with, said junior Daniel Prucha. “It was really hot and it was very fatiguing working in it, but we kind of just got used to it,” said Prucha.
In the village of El Rancho Grande, students helped dig trenches, paint restrooms, and build a school.“ It felt good building a school for the children,” said junior CeCe Hatem; “it was very important that we did this for them.” While helping the people of El Rancho Grande, the students got to connect with them a more personal level. “One woman said that we were the answer to their prayers,” said Prucha. They also had an annual soccer game with the students facing some of the children in the city. The children won.
Students ate many different styles of food while staying in El Salvador. “Every night there was a different meal, but they were sort of similar, including a meat portion, rice, and bread,” said Hatem. Students said that they were surprised when they tried the food and found out it was very good. “Eating brought us closer together with the people of El Salvador. It was a great time for us to sit down with and talk to each other instead of doing work,” said Thomas.
When it was time for the students to leave, many students didn’t want to go. “We left with a greater appreciation for what we have,” said Gunn; “every time I go, I can’t wait to comeback the next year.”