Lowell Catholic Visits the Dominican Republic
Lowell Catholic students recently returned from the fifth annual alternative winter break trip to the Hogar Immanuel Orphanage and Mustard Seed communities in the Dominican Republic. “The purpose of the annual trip is to work alongside the amazing staff at Hogar Immanuel, who have tirelessly dedicated their lives to care for children with mental and physical disabilities that have been abandoned. We shared our faith and love with these children while also completing different work projects to improve the places where they live, learn and play” said Ms. Chrissy Gill, Lowell Catholic Spanish instructor who has facilitated the trip over the past few years.
Across the street from the orphanage, the park used by both the residents of Hogar Immanuel and the neighborhood kids, received a fresh coat of paint and a yearly spruce up. Students worked hard to remove weeds and trash ensuring it was a safe place for the children to play. Many neighborhood children joined in the efforts allowing LC students the opportunity to work on their Spanish conversational skills. Additional landscaping work was completed at the orphanage including leveling roads, filling in potholes, and planting to prevent erosion.
The Lowell Catholic students also brought along toys to interact with the children of Hogar Immanuel including balls, gadgets with flashing lights and bubbles to play with the kids and engage one on one with the non-verbal children who reside there. They found a sense of serenity in seeing the children enjoy the toys, music and laughter.
Through fundraising efforts prior to the trip, the Lowell Catholic community raised $3,000, the cost of food for the community for one month. While in the Dominican, the students of LC were divided into groups and each was given a shopping list. This activity helped them explore the culture of everyday life and the task required them to engage with locals to discover where to find items while also helping to stimulate the local economy.
While in Puerto Plata, students attended Mass at the Cathedral, took a scenic cable ride up to the top of the mountain, dined and danced to local music and toured regional landmarks including local beaches. Ms. Gill posted a photo blog of their adventures throughout the trip and several LC alumni were able to comment and reminisce about how much they too loved attending the trip and helping to make a difference in the community.
Pictured above Left to Right: Sean McCullough of Tyngsboro, Joshua Fiorentino of Groton, Allison Dresser of Lowell, Olivia Williams of Nashua, NH, Alexandra O’Connor of Groton, Celia Murphy of Lawrence and Jacqueline Andrews of Windham, NH pause for a photo while working on improving the grounds of an orphanage in the Dominican Republic over their winter break.
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