The Catholic University of America

May 19, 2009

30 From CUA Embark on Mission Trips

Samantha Alves spends time with children in Belize in May 2008.

Approximately 30 Catholic University students and staff leaders left campus early this morning to travel overseas to Belize and Honduras. Nearly 50 students applied for the opportunity to spend two weeks learning about and helping residents of two Central American villages.

In Belize, students will spend one week working at St. Peter Clavier School while staying in the homes of local residents. In Honduras, students will spend their mornings doing manual work at schools, homes for children and a housing project for abandoned mothers. In the afternoon, they will spend time with the children and families at these locations.

Samantha Alves, a rising junior social work major from Gloucester, Mass., is one of the team leaders on CUA's Mission Belize. Last year she visited the country for the first time on a university mission trip.

"Mostly, I wanted to understand how other people live," Alves said about why she chose to take part in a mission trip. "Central America is a far cry from Massachusetts. Belize allowed me to work, play, love and live with families of an entirely different background than my own."

Alves hopes that the team she leads in Belize will also share in a positive experience as she did last year.

"I hope everyone who chose to serve this year will see through humble hearts and open minds how poverty has many faces. Everyone we meet and serve is someone's child, mother or grandfather," she added. "I hope people see the love and opportunity we have been given to give others." 

Maura Hayes plays with children in Honduras on her mission trip last year.

Maura Hayes, a rising junior in media studies from Cranford, N.J., is serving as one of the leaders on Mission Honduras.

Hayes is returning to Honduras with her classmates to help show them that they are part of a "global family."

"The greatest experience that I have gained from my time participating in Mission Honduras is realizing I am part of a global family," she says. "The welcoming spirit of the Honduran people was essential to my recognizing that. Their simplicity and appreciation of even the little things in life has taught me to be thankful for what I have been given in my life and to worry less about what I don't have."

In addition to working while on their missions, students have also raised money that will be donated to the organizations they will aid in Belize and Honduras. In spring 2009, Redline a cappella, one of CUA's student singing groups, hosted an invitational concert with other local college groups, raising approximately $1,400.


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