Thirty five girls from Villa Maria Academy High School spent their first weeks of summer vacation working hard: building, digging, and caring for children. The girls, led by faculty member Gloria Galilea, and accompanied by parents Kathy Dobson, Carmen Chick, and Greg Bozzi, plus faculty member Natalie Murray and Galilea’s husband Stanley Cosgrave, were part of Villa Maria’s annual missionary trip June 12-20 to Las Delicias and Ciudad Arces, two small towns in El Salvador. This was the 11th year a group from Villa Maria has travelled to the region.
The girls were not afraid to break a sweat and get dirty. Wielding shovels and pick axes, and hauling mortar and dirt, crews of students dug trenches, built a retaining wall, and worked on building a classroom. At the end of the day some of the girls were so worn out they fell asleep on the van ride home.
Not every job required hard labor. Girls also took turns visiting an orphanage, where they played games with the older children, held the youngest ones, and provided some extra personal attention for the kids. The girls also gave time and attention to senior citizens in the community.
“It is always such a wonderful experience for us,” said Galilea, a Spanish teacher at Villa Maria. “There are so many overwhelming positives about this trip. Every time we go it is always an amazing reality check on how truly important faith, family, true friendship and health are.”