This spring break, 60 students traveled to three different locations for Spiritan Campus Ministry’s annual Cross-Cultural Mission Experiences (CCMEs). Students assisted in home repair and community projects in Mullens, WV; worked with migrant farmworkers to understand the injustices in Florida’s tomato fields in Immokalee, FL; and helped to rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA. In all of the experiences, students were able to get a taste of the culture of the area through food, conversation with members of the community, and working together on a variety of projects in the areas. Below are students’ reflections on their experiences on the CCMEs.
“The Cross Cultural Mission Experience to West Virginia over Spring Break was a very humbling experience, and it opened my eyes to the nearby difficulties while also showing the good in the people I was around. It was shocking to find that an area that is very close is almost a different world from the one that I am used to. Seeing an area that has such different living conditions made me realize how fortunate I am to have what I do, and that not everyone is as lucky as I or anyone else that I interact with daily is. Although, just by looking, one would think that just because conditions aren’t as nice as our own, life down there is horrible; but ”West Virginians” would say otherwise. The West Virginians were welcoming, helpful and so grateful for the work that we did for them as they do similar work for their community, that they care so much about, every day. The CCME trip helped me realize a lot: I now have seen firsthand how fortunate I am compared to others, how nice people can be despite their lives in comparison to ours and the selflessness of the students I go to school with. Service has always been a part of my life but each time I do service I realize how it should play a part in everyone’s lives because, more often than not, others need it and it won’t go unappreciated.“
Student Government Association
“The trip to Immokalee, Florida, which is one of the Cross Cultural Mission Experiences (CCMEs) that Duquesne sponsors, is one of the most difficult to understand. With various issues focusing on immigration, farmworker rights, poverty, and safe working conditions, the students experience a wide spectrum of information that is overwhelming and educational. In order to fully understand, students learn about community, dedication, and hard work through working with community social service organizations, exploring the culture through food, and working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Student/Farmworker Alliance. With proper guidance from Kate Lecci, an experienced Campus Minister, the attendees begin to understand a variety of issues in addition to learning about critical thinking, reflecting, and formulating personal opinions. The trip perfectly fulfills the Duquesne University Mission of “Serving God by serving students” through emotional, educational, and spiritual aspects. “
Vice President of Finance
Student Government Association
To learn more about the various activities students conducted and reflected on visit the following link: www.duq.edu/life-at-duquesne/spiritan-campus-ministry/blogs.