Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Saint Mary’s students complete service trip to Guatemala

Saint Mary's students at the Mayan ruins of Zacaleu. Since their return, the Volcano Pacaya, has erupted and
Guatemala has also experienced severe flooding.

Diana Lundeen with children of the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos school and orphanage.

WINONA, Minn. — Nine Saint Mary’s University students, joined by Chris McClead, director of SMU’s Campus Ministry, completed a Serving Others United with Love (SOUL) trip to Guatemala May 9-19.

The students, including Abby Voigt, Allison Stephens, Shannon Nelson, Rachel Elbert, John Speedling, Kelly Holt, Diana Lundeen, Ellen Bina and Emily DeWitt, traveled to Antigua, Huehuetenago and San Lucas Toliman to see how some Guatemalans live from day to day.

This trip was intended to ignite a flame on the Winona campus for the life and work of Brother James Miller, a 1966 Saint Mary’s alumnus who was killed while serving in Guatemala in 1982. Brother James has been designated a “Servant of God” and is being considered for sainthood.

The trip’s objectives were:
• To inspire students to live a life dedicated to others by visiting the Brother James Miller House, the school for the indigenous in Huehuetenango, and reflect on how their lives might also serve the common good.
• To provide students with an opportunity to see various non-profit organizations serving the marginalized of Guatemala.
• To have students connect to the Lasallian family and witness the Lasallian mission specifically with the communities of Antigua and Huehuetenango.

Social justice issues encountered included: global solidarity, poverty, education, immigration, advocacy, fair wages, and economic policies in a global market.