LARCHMONT, N.Y. Members of St. Johns Episcopal Church in Larchmont brought community service to a global level through international mission trips.
The church joined with Bridges to Community, a nonprofit community development organization based in Ossining, to coordinate a service trip to Nicaragua late last month. The program is in its eighth consecutive year and had 18 participants 11 from the church and seven from the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, N.Y.
The group traveled to Jinotega, which is 105 miles north of Managua, the capital city. Nearly sixty-percent of Jinotegas population lives in poverty. The group which consisted of nine adults and nine teenagers built two houses in four days with no machinery.
The team lived in basic housing and endured high temperatures and humidity.
Local masons helped the team construct the houses by hand, including gathering ingredients for cement, mixing it by hand, and building walls out of cinder blocks.
The hurricane and earthquake-resistant houses were given to two multi-generational families.
Four-time trip participant, Simon Cantwell of Larchmont, said, Every year I to go into the trip thinking that it will likely be my last. However, I seem to leave Nicaragua with my mind changed. The first few times I think I went entirely because I enjoyed the idea of giving to others who weren't as lucky as I, but now after four trips I realize I go back mostly because I love seeing such pure joy in a place that is so poor.
Participants included Clarke Bailey, Skye Bailey, Carla Berry, Madison Blaine, Paul Boese, Sam Boese, Freya Cantwell, Paul Cantwell, Simon Cantwell, Luke Clay, Chase Danford, Heather Gardiner, David Kingsley, Kat Kingsley, Peter Kizer, Scott Roper, Shannon Roper, and Linnet Tse.
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