The ten Hellenic College students who went to Guatemala City, Guatemala, during spring break have returned to campus. They participated in the Ortodox Christian Fellowship program called Real Break, which sponsors Orthodox college students on trips to various areas of the world to help Orthodox people in need. The Hellenic College group visited and worked at Hogar Rafael Ayau, an orphanage in Guatemala City run by Orthodox nuns that is under the auspices of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of Guatemala. Thus, their spring break, usually a time of vacation and partying for many college students in this country, was turned into a period of sacrifice and witness, an expression of Orthodox philanthropy. The students are senior Katerina Giovos, juniors Nicholas Savas and John Dalber, sophomores Hannah Pappas, Marcella Xyloportas and Minas Gregoriades, and freshmen Anna Efthimiades, Erin Hunt, Sebastian Mot and Seraphim Ramos.
The ten students with some of the children at Hogar Rafael Ayau.
The week was spent gardening, painting and doing maintenance work but the most gratifying experience was their interaction with the children in play and worship. Prior to departing from the school, the group collected four hundred dollars from HCHC students to spend on the children. Onde day was spent at a petting zoo with the younger children. Said Nicholas Savas, of Annunciation Church in Ft. Myers, FL, "We are all keeping our hearts and minds open to learn from the simplicity of life and from the children here. You hear people talking about how trips with OCF Real Break are life changing. Now I understand what they mean."
Nick Savas with David
Sebastian Mot, of Annunciation Church in Muskegon, MI, described his stay as "one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have no doubt in my mind that I will return there one day." "I fell in love with 65 kids the moment I met them and although they made me realize how beautiful life is, I don't know how I'm going to live mine without them", said Marcella Xyloportas of St. Barbara Church in Toms River, NJ.
John Dalber with five of the boys with icons given to them by the students
Erin Hunt, of St. Markella nad Demetrios Church in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, described it as "The most beautiful experience, where the children of Hogar Rafael taught me more than I could ever teach them. Patience, silence and give love unconditionally."
"The experience we had at the orphanage was amazing. It was uplifting and gaveme hope", said Minas Gregoriades of the Church of Our Savior in Rye. NY.
Time to play soccer!!
Below is a list of upcoming events at Hellenic College Holy Cross. For a complete list, please refer to our Campus Calendar.