Seven St. Michael students, along with two teachers, traveled to Nicaragua over the Mardi Gras break to share their time and energy with the poor.
The mission trip, sponsored by International Samaritan, serves victims of severe poverty in developing countries.
St. Michael students worked at an underprivileged school where they built a fence and a gate, and spent time with the children.
St. Michael teachers, James and Lisa Baldridge, organize the mission trip for juniors and seniors every other Mardi Gras break. This was their fourth trip.“The kids we visit appreciate the attention and friendship that they receive from our students since many of them don’t have a strong home life,” says Mr. Baldridge. “Many of their parents are so poor that they are focused on just surviving and don’t have time or materials to do simple things like read a book with them.”
Mrs. Baldridge says a trip like this makes students feel more called to get involved with the poor in Baton Rouge once they return home. “It makes them so much more appreciative of what they have in their lives,” she says, “all the sudden food drives mean more to them. They find out the causes of poverty and learn about social justice.”
Junior, Payton LeBlanc, says he took the trip because it seemed like a life changing experience. “I learned that in America we have so many things that we take for granted and when visiting, I realized that even though those people don’t have a lot they still have love.”
Another junior, Anna Crifasi, agrees that the trip was life changing. “The amount of love that everyone, especially the children, showed us was immeasurable and in its purest form. They are truly some of the kindest and happiest people I have ever met. This trip has taught me the importance of gratitude, altruism, and most of all, love.”
Other students in attendance included Jace Clark, Elizabeth Ledet, Madeline Breaux, Madison Spinosa, and Kennedy Seelbach.
*Pictures courtesy of James Baldridge.