As you think about whether the spring break trip to Costa Rica makes sense for your 7th or 8th grader, you might want to learn more about last year's trip to Puerto Rico:
As part of St. Anne’s annual Spanish immersion trip to Puerto Rico last year, nine 7th and 8th grade student travelers spent time at a foster home called Hogar San Miguel in the city of Ponce. During the time that we spent there, we connected with about 15 boys aged 8 - 17 who were living without their families. Our group of girls played basketball, football, card games, and competitive rounds of tag with the boys, and it was very touching to witness the laughter, flurry of activity, and radiant smiles that filled the yard. In the words of one of our students, “Visiting Hogar San Miguel taught me a very important lesson. I learned that no matter what the situation, helping someone even in the littlest amount, goes a long way for both people.”
After returning home from their trip, our students wanted to continue serving the boys at the home by involving the Middle School in a fundraiser. Our girls had noticed that the boys did not have good playground equipment such as basketballs or footballs, and that they needed things like school supplies and games to play while indoors. We met several times to organize a presentation, reflect on our experience, and plan the fundraiser. We began selling baked goods during break time in the Middle School and raised $590 for Hogar San Miguel.
We originally wanted to designate these funds towards playground equipment and games, but when I contacted Jorge Pardo of Vamonos Tours, he mentioned that the boys were moving into a new home, and I suggested that the funds be used towards whatever items the boys most needed for their relocation. So far, the money raised has been spent on a freezer for their kitchen, a security wire system, and the remaining funds will be spent on an excursion that the boys will be taking to San Juan in July.
Jorge shared this note of appreciation, “They are incredibly thankful to St. Anne’s and to you for your kindness. Thanks to you, we were able to provide them with the two most needed items in their new home!”
Our students shared some thoughts on their memorable experiences:
“ Even though we may live in different settings and environments, it doesn’t mean that people are different from one another because we all live in one world and we can all be friends.”
Ashlyn, Class of 2017
“ Staying with the boys in the foster home really let us connect with their culture and each of the
personalities of the boys.”
Allaire, Class of 2018
“ I remember being a little nervous before going in that the boys would not like playing with us, but there was an instant connection between us.”
Jiya, Class of 2018
“ I know that we were there to be there with them and to bond with them but I believe that they helped me more then we helped them. They made me realize that I need to be more thankful and appreciative about everything.”
Sophia, Class of 2017