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Students of John Paul Junior College visit Aguacate, Toledo to volunteer in community projects

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018. 2:59 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Students and teachers from John Paul II Junior College (JPIIJC) in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, visited the village of Aguacate, Toledo District, during the period of October-29 to November 2, 2018.

The visit was another step forward in the college’s mission of developing a network of students and graduates to act as “Belizeans serving Belizeans.”

The school is looking forward for a January 2019 trip of JPIIJC students to Aguacate, where they will build a greenhouse for families, complete a fence to make the local school campus cleaner and safer, and bring supplies for the church and young people of the remote village.

JPIIJC’s mission to the Toledo District began in May 2018, with a trip to San Jose.

Students of  JPIIJC refurbished children’s desks at the primary school and funded a project to build a home for a family whose house had burned down.

On that trip students also delivered Bibles, prayer books, rosaries and other religious resources from the U.S.A. that had been donated by St. Andre Bessette Parish (Portland, Oregon), Nardin Academy, and Canisius High School (both in Buffalo, New York).

Brania Tzib, a second-year student at JPIIJC, was delighted to make new friends in Aguacate. “They are taking such initiative in their community. Personally, I saw how much we have here in Benque–and how we don’t always appreciate it. The people we met in this village were super loving! They didn’t seem stressed but were happy and so united with each other. That gives me hope,” Tzib said.

Natalie Gallatin, Creative Director and Professor of Art and Humanities at JPIIJC, saw the trip as a way of “…sharing the missionary experience with the students and inviting them to a deeper imitation of the life of Christ.”  A graduate of Benedictine College (Atchison, Kansas, U.S.A.) now teaching for a third year at JPIIJC, Gallatin also notes, “We hope that other tertiary institutions will follow our lead and join us in reaching out in loving service to communities across Belize.”

John Paul II Junior College offers a unique Liberal Arts curriculum featuring the Classical Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic), as well as classes in philosophy and theology for all students.

It also offers courses in Belizean studies, Belizean literature, and Latin.

Enjoying record-high enrollment during the 2018-2019 school year, JPIIJC will add a theology and catechetics major to ones in Liberal Arts, English, and business administration.

The college welcomes donations and inquiries and may be reached at 501-823-2896.


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