Culver-Stockton Students Plan International Spring Break Mission Trip
A group of C-SC students are traveling with the College’s Chaplain, Amanda Sorenson, to Puerto Rico for this year’s annual Spring Break Mission Trip, Feb. 28- March 7, 2015. The College has partnered with Global Works, a custom travel service that provides integrative service and educational opportunities to create stronger, better informed and more engaged communities.
“For many of our students, going on the annual spring break mission trip is an expression of their faith,” said Sorenson. “They believe we are called to get out into the world and work toward peace and social justice. This service trip gives students the opportunity to be active in working toward those goals.”
During the trip, students will be working with families in the community of Villa del Rio to help construct new homes. Since 1994, people have been leaving urban slums to make new lives in Villa del Rio. The families purchase small plots of land and gradually construct their own concrete homes, while temporarily living in hastily built wooden homes. A high rate of unemployment affects their abilities to complete the construction, and C-SC students will be working alongside entire families to assist them in this process.
“Students hear about systemic poverty and it’s effects, and trips like this place them in the middle of it. They get to know the people who live it, hear their stories and give and receive hope,” said Sorenson.
Students will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Puerto Rican culture. When not assisting with construction projects, the students get to discuss issues facing the island with community leaders, learn salsa dancing with professional musicians and share meals with local families. Students also get to explore the capital city of San Juan. The group’s final day in Puerto Rico will be spent enjoying time on Luquillo Beach, adjacent to the world famous bioluminescent bay. Students will go on an evening kayak to enjoy the bay’s unique glowing water.
“The students are very excited about working alongside families and having the opportunity to contribute in a positive way. They are also looking forward to experiencing the culture and learning new skills,” said Sorenson. “Service learning and travel give our students unique, hands-on experiences.”
Service learning trips are annual events at Culver-Stockton College open to any interested students. Past service learning trip locations include Yakima, Wash., and Pittsburg, Pa.