Service Trip to Jamaica Planned for Summer 2019

Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This coming summer, a group of 15 NDA students and chaperones will be embarking on a service trip to Kingston, Jamaica.  Dates for the trip are July 21-28.

The trip costs approximately $2,200 but this amount covers all travel expenses such as flights, food and lodging.

Some financial aid is available, and students are encouraged to fundraise outside of school in areas such as their parishes or asking family for gifts of money towards the trip.

International Samaritan, the company that Campus Minister Daniel Kriegl is working with to organize the trip, often utilizes Catholic retreat houses and is said to plan very safe trips.

Kriegl himself has gone on two trips with this organization and said, “I have done two trips with International Samaritan (one to Nicaragua and one to Guatemala this past summer) and believe strongly in what they do and in their policies to keep everyone safe.”

In other regards to safety, natives of Jamaica will be available to drive and guide the group throughout the whole trip.

Jamaica is a Level Two travel advisory according to the US Travel Advisory Scale, which is the same as countries like Italy, France and Germany.

During this trip, the participants will be working in a community in the city of Kingston, the capital. They will be staying at a retreat house run by a Catholic organization.

“The work in Riverton will be based around the Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre, which is a basic school for ages 3-5,” Kriegl said in explaining the type of service the team will be doing.

For food, participants will be eating traditional Jamaican dishes such as rice and beans, stewed or steamed vegetables, and a meat such as fried chicken, jerk chicken, pork or curried dishes.

“This trip is organized by three groups I trust, International Samaritan, Franciscans or Sisters of Mercy and Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre. Most importantly, International Samaritan has been doing these trips since 1995, and I have not found/heard of any incident where students were harmed on a trip. They have the expertise and passion to make sure we have a powerful experience and are safe the whole time,” Kriegl made a point of saying.

Students should be prepared for hot days, construction work and spending time with young children. Like most service trips, the Jamaican outreach promises to be a meaningful and memorable experience for those who choose to attend.