Fairfield University to present mission volunteer program

Fairfield University will sponsor a mission volunteer program in May in which 30 students and six adults will aid the people of Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras and Kentucky for two weeks. This program is a service to the poverty-stricken people of those areas and is considered to be meaningful for the students as well. According to the Rev. Paul E. Carrier, S.J., University Chaplain, the volunteers gain a first hand experience of what it's like to be poor, and through this program, they will hopefully learn what's important and what it truly means to be a human being.

The Mission Volunteer Program is conducted by Fr. Carrier and the Campus Ministry.

The barrios of Duran, Ecuador receive aid from the missionaries of St. James the Apostle. The Fairfield volunteers will work with the the parish priests in the schools, dispensary, soup kitchen and mission stations in the countryside of Duran. Daily activities will include painting, sidewalk construction and recreation. Volunteers will learn from leaders of Christian base communities and then will help to maintain the living quarters by shopping at the market, cooking and cleaning. This year will mark the eighth trip to Duran.

While in Tijuana, Mexico, volunteers will be working with two established social service organizations, Los Ninos and Casa del Migrante. Los Ninos is a bi-national organization since Tijuana is on the border of the United States and Mexico. Projects include construction of schools and day care facilities in barrios. Casa del Migrante works solely with Tijuana and is designed to aide the workers deported from the United States as well as migrants from the south. Volunteers will work with the Casa in an effort to provide these people with a place to sleep, medical care, food and human compassion. This will be the fifth trip to Tijuana.

Of the 35,000 inhabitants of Juticalpa, Honduras, a large part of the population lives in rural, small villages concentrated in fertile valleys. Volunteers will live together and help the people of Juticalpa with shopping, cooking and cleaning. This will be the first trip to Juticalpa.

The Mission Volunteers will also be traveling to Inez, Kentucky, on the West Virginia border. The 11 group members will be serving in the Christian Appalachian Project's Home Repair Program in Martin County. The Volunteers will be doing basic construction on low-income or elderly families' homes, or families with special needs. The group of volunteers will be staying in the Activity Center. The trip will also include supper and prayer in which the group may join the Inez Volunteers as well as daily reflections where Fairfield Volunteers will discuss the day's activities. Under the Christian Appalachian Projects Organization, Fairfield Mission Volunteers have previously made one trip to Kentucky and one to Maine.

Mission Volunteers have also worked in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Oaxaca, Mexico; Punta Gorda, Belize; Quito, Ecuador; and Kingston, Jamaica.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 1, 1997

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