Welcome Minnesota Visitors!
Putting life in perspective.
August 8, 2012 - Dominican Republic
“We come back for the kids! You see pure and genuine happiness in every kid, and we truly cherish our relationships with them.” This was just one of the many profound quotes that students Abby, Paige, Hannah and Katie blurted out excitedly in their interview about their trips to the NPH home in the Dominican Republic.
These girls, along with 16 of their fellow classmates and three teacher chaperones, came to the DR for a week in August for a summer service trip. Their high school, Benilde-St. Margaret’s (BSM), started visiting the NPH Dominican Republic home last summer, but has been making trips to the home in Guatemala since 2006.
The visitors and children hanging out.
Lidibette Guzman, the trip organizer and one of the teacher chaperones, has never missed an NPH trip. Her dedication to the organization and passion to share the love with her students is amazing to witness. She states, “I think it brings a new perspective and it teaches the students to value their families because they see the children down here. It puts their life in perspective.”
Through these trips, Lidibette has first-handedly seen students grow as their lives are changed within their week stay at the NPH homes. One of these many success stories is of Madelon Morin, a current full-year volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She went on the BSM trips to Guatemala for two years and has since helped to organize both trips to the DR. After graduating college, Madelon began her volunteer year at the home in June 2012. She works in the office with special projects during the day and spends her evenings and weekends with her 11 to 14 year-old boys in the Santo Domingo House. Lidibette says, “Madelon’s passion was contagious, and she is proof that these trips change people because look where she is!”
This year, the BSM group worked on preparing and painting the elementary school, but without doubt their biggest accomplishment of the week was their time spent with the children. When working hours were over, you could find the group surrounded by dozens of children in the park. Also, these students got to see some of the country on two excursions to wonderful waterfalls and beaches of the Dominican Republic. “It is two complete worlds between the states and the DR. But with every visit, we realize that our time with the kids is so precious and we just want them to know we are here for them, even when we are in the states,” exclaimed one student.
These groups do so much more than the work projects on site during their week here. Additionally, each visitor brings an entire suitcase of donations, and the group also helps to fund other projects including the painting of the school as well as the purchase of school uniforms for the children. Our children really appreciate the friendships and connections made and already cannot wait until their return next summer. We are so thankful for all BSM does for us here in the DR!
Communications Officer and Project Manager