GMA Mission Trip to Alamo, TX


Lucy Ke

This past week, a group of Gwynedd students, along with chaperones Mrs. O’Neill and Mrs. Spleen, flew to Alamo, Texas for a mission trip at ARISE Adelante. Truly describing the trip as one of the most eye-opening experiences of their lives, the girls ran a one-week summer camp for young children living in the town situated right next to the US-Mexico border. They planned craft activities for the kids, ages 2 to 18, to participate in each day, and read books from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Gwynedd’s own La Mariposa. An enriching experience, the girls also made friends with ARISE’s regular volunteers of the same age, who shared various pieces of their Mexican background to them— from the delicious food to classic dances. The Gwynedd students also received experiences throughout the week to volunteer at two different respite centers, where immigrants entering the United States would first go when seeking asylum. Led by the ARISE staff, they also walked along the actual border wall. Doing every action with the Spirit of Mercy in mind, the girls saw, very clearly, the Critical Concern of Immigration and the need to advocate for and support those affected by it. To learn more about this Critical Concern, the girls also visited the home of two Sisters of Mercy, where they reflected on their week and shared moments that particularly stood out to them. Some shared their heartbrokenness that many living in what was described to them as “The Golden Cage” of Texas, could not ever, in their lifetimes, leave the town because they would not be safe anywhere else. On the other hand, girls also shared the happy moments they encountered while staying— the joyfulness heard in the mariachi music at the Basilica of San Juan del Villes or the smiles the little kids gave to them while enjoying their crafts and readings. Whatever the girls shared, they all agreed on one thing. They would advocate for this cause and would share their incredibly eye-opening experience with the Gwynedd community in hopes that it would compel more people to take action.