2011 BYM TripWhile most students are relaxing at home or enjoying summer camp students from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami spent 10 days, June 24 to July 3, building a bridge for the village of Pescado Bobo located in the Dominican Republic about 40 miles outside of Santiago.
“The purpose of the trip is to expose our students to a reality that they are not familiar with,” said Jesuit Father Guillermo García-Tuñón '87, principal at Belen Jesuit (2009-2012) and moderator of the trip. “The majority of the world lives in poverty and this gives them an opportunity to work side by side with the poor and experience for 10 days what they live all the time. The trip allows the students to serve and to exercise Belen’s motto of being “men for others.”
This is the 30th year Belen students have participated in a summer mission trip to the Dominican Republic. The group totaled 93 people: 51 Belen students between the ages of 16 and 18; 21 girls from Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy between the ages of 16 and 18; 5 doctors; 14 Belen alumni; and 2 Belen parents.
The typical 8- hour work day consisted of working on the construction of the bridge and clinic and ended with daily Mass; breaking intermittently for meals.
The group also travelled with a container filled with medicine for the clinic and tools for the construction of the bridge. In addition, many of the building materials were purchased locally so that the cost would be more manageable. In total, the project cost $40,000 which was paid for by donations.
“The hope is that the students become more aware of the presence of God in their lives and the reality of so many,” said Father García-Tuñón. “That they are motivated to love and serve not only in extraordinary circumstances like the mountains of the Dominican Republic, but daily.”
2013 BYM TripSixty-five students from Belen Jesuit joined alumni, students from Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Father Frank Permuy, engineers and medical staff on the annual Belen Youth Mission trip. This year the group headed to La Piragua Abajo, Dominican Republic were they built a bridge and established a make shift clinic June 28- July 7.
The purpose of the 10-day mission was to serve the poor and deliver medicines, mostly vitamins and building tools used in the construction of the bridge. "I decided to go on this trip because I feel it's a good time to give back to other people,” said Steven Vega, alumnus from Class of 2013. “It's a satisfying feeling, and I'm living through the motto of my school, Belen Jesuit, which is living through others."
2014 BYM Trip
The quote by St. Ignatius of Loyola, "Go forth and set the world on fire" can best describe the group of individuals who decided to use their summer vacation to accomplish an incredible feat.
Ninety-eight students from Belen Jesuit joined alumni, students from Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Fathers Frank Permuy and Emilio Travieso along with engineers and medical staff on the annual Belen Youth Mission trip. This year the group headed to Hoyo de Perez, Dominican Republic where they built a bridge and established a makeshift clinic June 27- July 6.
The purpose of the 10-day mission was to serve the poor and deliver medicine, mostly vitamins and building tools used in the construction of the bridge.