Positive change in Puerto Rico


Michael Donlin

The group of students and chaperones dressed up for the day to relax after doing service.

Jon Carani, Staff Writer

Stepping off the plane and entering into an unknown country they soak in the heat of the tropical air. This was just the beginning of a week full of service and excitement.

Nov. 24 through Dec.1, Father Schrader, Theology teacher John Hawkey, and seniors Alex Rico, Michael Donlin, and Joey Reckamp attended a trip to Puerto Rico to experience culture and provide service to people and places in need. Their goal was to leave the country knowing that they made a positive change.

“We do this trip as a cultural immersion service program, we team up with the Jesuit high school there,” Hawkey said. “We experience the Jesuit education there and work at different service sites.”

One of the service projects they participated in was helping with students in a neighborhood known as Vietnam.

“The other Jesuit students and ourselves paired up with the kids and helped tutor them,” Donlin said. “It was struggling in a way for myself for I do not know much Spanish, but with the help of others I feel that I made an impact on the children.”

The men spent a day working in the Mangrove Forest and learned about the impact of the hurricane and how it affected these forests.

“We dealt with environmental justice issues and issues associated with the trees that were destroyed,” Hawkey said. “It was an eye opening experience learning about the importance of planting and the importance of nature itself and the effects within it.”

The trip resulted in a greater understanding of a new culture and the importance of service.

“The trip was a huge success and we all had a great time,” Reckamp said. “If you have the opportunity to attend this trip in the future, I would highly recommend it.”