A group of 21 from Heidelberg spent last week with ARISE in south Texas, working with the organization’s summer children’s program and experiencing the hospitality of three small Mexican immigrant communities there.
The trip is the culmination of the NDI 345 course on “Service Learning on the U.S./Mexico Border,” developed in 2006 by Spanish Professor Dr. Cindy Lepeley.
The group spent some of its time touring La Posada, a shelter for asylum seekers that is run by the Sisters of Divine Providence in San Benito, Texas. Another afternoon, they volunteered at the Catholic Charities Respite Center for asylum seekers in McAllen, Texas.
In addition to working with ARISE, the group also visited the Basilica of San Juan del Valle in San Juan, Texas. The basilica is an important place of pilgrimage for the region, and the Heidelberg group attended a bilingual Mass there that included a 12-member mariachi band, providing music for the service. It was an interesting cultural experience for the group, Cindy said.
The 17 student participants this year included Hannah Petitti, Josie Brun, Kaitlyn Payne, Madelyn Crawford, Allison Schwarzbek, Lindsey Robinson, Hailey Taylor, Jasmyn Mullins, Lauren Nichols, Emma Breyley, Taelir Beery, Jennifer Burgei, Esmeralda Rios Salazar, Penelope Christian, Brandi Maye, Ashley Hasselbach and Taylor Valentine. In addition to Cindy, the co-facilitators of the trip included Education Professor Dr. Stacey Pistorova and 'Berg alums Stephanie Krawec and Andy Helms.