Posted: Sunday, February 3, 2019. 10:00 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Eight students and three teachers from John Paul II Junior College (JPIIJC) traveled from Benque Viejo del Carmen on a mission trip to the village of Aguacate, Toledo from January 20-26, 2019.
The visit was part of JPIIJC’s ongoing mission among the Kekchi Maya to promote and practice the college goal of “Belizeans helping Belizeans.”
JPIIJC’s mission program continues to grow and planning is underway for the next trip, in May, to San Jose, Toledo.
More than a quarter of Aguacate’s four hundred residents are primary school children, and missionaries labored to improve the village school.
The students refurbished the volleyball and basketball courts, revitalized a greenhouse that provides fresh food for the school, and refinished the tabernacle of the associated Catholic Church.
Doris Tut, a first-year Liberal Arts major at JPIIJC, is enthusiastic about helping the youngsters of Aguacate.
“One of our projects involved painting lines on the basketball court of the school,” Tut notes. “People say that the court will now be the only one there and in the surrounding villages to have painted lines…While we were painting, the children were overjoyed…This makes me hopeful! It will encourage basketball players for the village’s team and help students to live the virtues that one learns from sports, such as self-discipline, perseverance, and commitment,” Tut says.
Alex Rosalez, a first-year Business Administration major, remains grateful for the opportunity to serve.
“All I have to say is thank you! Thank you for treating us kindly and for receiving us into your community. I will remember you, remember all your people, remember Agaucate. I will keep you all in my prayers. Blessings to all in Aguacate,” Rosalez asserts.
John Paul II Junior College, the only Liberal Arts school in Belize, has received international recognition for its unique program of simultaneous formative and instrumental education.
Students master a core curriculum that includes the Classical Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic), philosophy, and theology. Enjoying record-high enrollment this year, the college awards Associates of Arts degrees in Liberal Arts, English, Business Administration, and Catechetics.
Service to Belize and the world is an essential part of that curriculum.
Justin Vera, a second-year English major encourages students to experience it for themselves.
“If you come to JPIIJC for the sole purpose of going on these mission trips, I would be elated. There is no greater joy to me than to serve…,” Vera says.
JPIIJC welcomes inquiries from prospective students, as well as donations to its continuing capital campaign. Visit www.jpiibelize.org, or phone 501-670-2040 for more information.
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