From July 8 to 21, a group of Australian university girls traveled to Mexico to work in the villages of Manto del Río and Potland, near the Toshi Hacienda, a training center for women in Atlacomulco, Mexico. The project involved refurbishing a church in each locality and teaching the villagers how to organize the recycling of trash. In Manto del Río the girls also taught catechism to the village children.
The students made daily visits to families to help in various housekeeping tasks. Those studying medicine and nursing helped out in a mobile medical clinic.
One of the girls taking part commented afterwards: “I thought I was going there to give something to the people, but now I realize how much I myself learned from them. The experience has strengthened my faith and taught me that there is more joy in giving than in receiving.”
The high point of the trip was the visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico City, where the students experienced the deep Marian devotion of the Mexican people and commended their intentions to the Blessed Virgin.
The group, organized by Eremeran Hills Study Centre in Sydney, worked in collaboration with students at the Panamerican University. Both Mexicans and Australians learned from the values of each other’s culture and formed lasting friendships with one another.