2013 Trip to Denver, CO
In March we braved Kansas, winter storm Triton, and even a flat tire on our spring break service trip to Denver, CO! As a group of six women passionate about social justice, we worked with several fantastic organizations in Denver focusing on homelessness and hunger in the area. With Family Promises of Greater Denver, we helped two local churches serve as an emergency shelters for homeless families. We met Aiden, the spunky four year old who taught us how to be teacher’s helpers
and also Dakota, the intelligent high school student who shared stories of his Dakota Indian heritage. With Denver Urban Gardens, we prepared the plots of two city gardens so they could provide a place for neighborhood families to grow fresh produce. This involved a lot of shoveling and compost, but also a lot of fun! At the Jeffco Action Center, we learned about their amazing food pantry, clothing bank, and counseling for families in need. We also sorted mountains of donated clothes for their clothing bank—with some occasional modeling to help us out! Last, but not least, we worked with the City Sprouts Farm to harvest sunchokes with the help of a third grade class from the Green School. Before heading back to St. Louis, we made a trip north to Dillon, CO where we skied Copper Mountain and relaxed in the cozy condo. Although our time in Denver only lasted a week, it will always remain in our hearts. Thank you all for your continued support and prayer.
2012 Trip to Antigua, Guatemala
We went back to Guatemala! We were excited to work with ConstruCasa once again to help build two earthquake-resistant houses near Antigua, Guatemala, in the village of San Juan del Obispo. In preparation for the trip, the students raised $19,000—-exceeding our goal and allowing for a large donation to Constru Casa and a local NGO offering scholarships for girls in the village we worked. Thanks to the 21 ELCA churches that welcomed us in and allowed us to sell our fair-trade Guatemalan crafts. In addition to building 2 houses in a small village, we will also spend the weekend at an ecolodge in Lake Attitlan, and visited many historic sites in Antigua. We had a truly life-changing week working side-by-side with some very special families and masons.
2011 Trip to Mingo County, West Virginia
We traveled to rural West Virginia for an incredible week of service through the WVMAC (West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Camps) through the Presbyterian Church-USA. We were hosted by the Freedom Full Gospel Church of Gilbert and loved meeting families in this town! It is a coal-dependent community that still suffers from extensive flood damage from 2009. Our first project was building a deck for a family to better access their trailer house. Our second project was to paint the entire interior of an elderly couple’s trailer. We had an incredible week of service and exploring rural West Virginia—-it sure is Wild and Wonderful!
2010 Trip to Antigua, Guatemala
Lutheran Campus Ministry has participated in “alternative Spring break” service trips for many years. In March 2010, we took a group of 10 students from Washington University and Saint Louis University to Antigua, Guatemala. We worked with Constru Casa, a not-for-profit organization, to help families build three homes in the village of San Mateo Milpas Altos! We also had the opportunity to live with local families, visit churches, meet local weavers and craft-makers, experience biodiversity as we climbed an active volcano, and learn about coffee production.
2009 Trip to Costa Rica
In March 2009, we journeyed with twelve students from Wash U and SLU to spend a week in the rural farming community of La Florida, Costa Rica, helping to build the first ever Diamante Valley library. Shortly after arriving in San Jose, we joined rural Costa Rican life by living with a Tican family, daily jungle-hikes, soccer-mania, waterfall-jumping, working the farms (including morning milking!) and embracing local coffee, fruit, bugs, and flowers! We were able to help fully enclose 1/4 of the Diamante Valley library which enables opening the library fully protected from the rain. Through the generous support of churches, individuals, and several Chaifetz events (selling concessions at SLU), our students were able to raise over $13,000! Students built lasting friendships with each other, increased their own environmental awareness and stewardship, and were challenged through a new culture and different world view.