Ecole Heritage students travel to Nicaragua for humanitarian work

Pictured here are students from Ecole Heritage with some children of San Benito, Nicaragua in 2015. All photos courtesy of Ecole Heritage.

Mac Olsen
Next month, the community of San Benito, Nicaragua will receive visitors from the Peace Country for the purpose of completing a humanitarian project.

Fifteen students at École Héritage in Falher – along with two students from École Nouvelle-Frontière in Grande Prairie, as well as several teachers and parents – will make the trip during spring break, March 22-31. All the students are in Grades 11 and 12 and for principal Nicole Walisser, the trip should help them comprehend the lives of those who are less affluent, but who find happiness nonetheless.

“When you take students on missionary work, you see in their eyes, what’s in their hearts,” says Walisser.
“It’s amazing to see the personal growth and investment in the students. They have to open their hearts to work with the residents, and they do. It’s so powerful, it’s very hard for them to leave. You’ve been touched and you’ve touched them.
“While poverty is evident, the residents are happy. They are content, which the students catch onto quickly. The students are able to recognize the simplicity of life for the Nicaraguans and yet how meaningful it is.”

She adds, the students become very empowered by what they see and experience.

“They make a connection and it’s authentic.”

This is the fourth humanitarian trip to San Benito, Nicaragua for École Héritage. For the first trip in 2011, the students helped to build a cultural centre. In 2013 and 2015, they helped to build showers/bathrooms. On this trip, they will help to build an outdoor bakery.

Students and parents pay for the trip to Nicaragua. All fundraising activities are what pay for the humanitarian projects in Nicaragua. This year’s goal is to raise $10,000.

The Roots of Change Foundation and FUNDACCO (the organization founded by the late Père Hébert from St. Albert) are the two charitable organizations that make the humanitarian work in Nicaragua possible. According to their website:

“The two organizations have been very successful in initiating and completing a significant number of projects. In the process, FUNDACCO has expanded its capacity and capabilities through the Foundation’s support for ongoing academic and professional training for the FUNDACCO leadership team.”

Go to www.rootsofcha for more information.

Spotlight will have an article about the students’ trip upon their return.

Principal Nicole Walisser of Ecole Heritage with one of the children of San Benito, Nicaragua in 2015.

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