Spring break for seven Chesterton High School students meant a world of
difference not only in the weather, but also in the experiencing how giving
to others and doing for others can result in a feeling of accomplishment and
a “job well done.”
Cathy Dean, CHS teacher of International Baccalaureate Psychology, and her
husband Bill, accompanied students Samantha Carpenter, Sereen Haddadin, Tony
Ketcham, Lauren Lecy, Emily Percifield, Bethany Van Drie, and Dana Wickenden
on a mission trip to Guatemala.
The trip began at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and ended the following
Saturday night. Students learned what it was like to live in a dirt-floor
home and cook food over an open fire. They helped a doctor provide dental
services to the people of a local village; they planted Moringa trees;
played with the children.
They also made room in their luggage to take purchased and donated items to
the people of Livingston, just outside of El Faro, Guatemala. The town was
founded centuries ago when a slave ship sank and the survivors managed to
make it to shore.
One of the highlights for a few of the students was swimming in the ocean
with a domesticated river otter, Lola, which was the pet of one of the
villagers. Sereen Haddadin wrote in her blog, “Lola loved to sneak up on us
and attack our hands and feet and cling to us when we tried to move. I fell
in love with Lola in that hour.”
A challenge/ropes course was also a highlight. Nestled in a beautiful green
jungle-like setting at the camp is a beautiful tower that connects free
swinging bridges of ropes, tires, and wood slats. All harnessed in and
wearing helmets, the students and adults took to the course.
Emily Percifield wrote, “Sam was pretty much a goddess at the ropes course
and put us all to shame!” Log on to