Students travel for mission trips on spring break

A girl’s soccer team in Cartago, Costa Rica gathers in a team huddle to display their brand new shirts and cleats. These items were donated by Baylor Athletics, Pi Phi sorority and the women’s soccer program. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

By Christina Soto | Broadcast Reporter

Most students tend to leave for vacation during spring break. However, some Baylor students spent their break serving people in different countries. Baylor offers several spring break mission trips in a variety of countries that students can attend.

Seattle, Wash., sophomore Yasmin Laird said she spent her break in Santa Elena, Costa Rica, through the Baylor School of Education. The mission trip was centered on her field of study: education. Through this program, Laird worked with students on English and helped develop and build a library for them.

“This was my second year going, and I would urge anyone who has any interest to go on the trip to go,” Laird said. “It is so rewarding and fun. Some of my friends from the trip have become my closest friends at Baylor.”

Las Vegas, Nev., sophomore Emily Weddell has volunteered in Antigua, Guatemala, for six years. She began serving the people of Guatemala in high school and has continued throughout college.

“Since I’ve been six times now, the most rewarding thing for me is being able to truly see how God has worked and is working through ministries in Guatemala and even in and through my past trips,” Weddell said.

Weddell traveled to Antigua this year with the Baylor and Beyond program where she served in a malnutrition clinic in a village called San Juan Sacatapequez. In Guatemala, Weddell played with children, helped nannies feed babies, changed diapers, washed dishes and helped out with daily chores.

“It’s remarkable and humbling to see how dedicated, compassionate and hardworking the nannies are. It was also rewarding to see that new kids are at the malnutrition clinic than the kids who were there the last time I went with Baylor. This means the clinic is doing something right because the first set of kids was healthy enough to go home,” Weddell said.

This spring break, the Baylor women’s soccer team and the sorority Pi Beta Phi helped children in Costa Rica through CoHope. CoHope is a nonprofit organization founder in honor of Baylor graduate and member of Alpha Tau Omega Coho Menk, who died last May.

Beth Messerly, founder and executive director of CoHope and Coho’s mother, established CoHope to serve children in the United States and internationally. The organization gives children the opportunity and tools to promote health, provide equation and help the well-being of children.

“We want to spread the passion and spirit of Coho,” Messerly said.

The Lady Bears donated cleats and T-shirts that were distributed to children in Costa Rica. The cleats were donated to a local girls’ soccer team from Cartago, Costa Rica. The team name is Jugos Nacionales Cartago.

“The girls were absolutely thrilled to get these items, especially the cleats as they are hard to come by and very expensive. This team consists of girls 16 to 18 years old, many from single-parent families who could never afford these items,” Messerly said.

Messerly said the youth small and medium T-shirts were donated to a kindergarten class in Matapalo, Costa Rica, by eight Baylor Pi Beta Phi sorority sisters, including Menk’s sister, Mahtomedi, Minn., junior Britta Menk.

“The kids, teacher and school were so excited and very grateful,” Messerly said.

To continue supporting their fallen brother, Menk, Alpha Tau Omega will host its annual Bed Races event to raise money to support CoHope from 6 to 7 p.m. on March 23.

“We are so very grateful for the ongoing love and support we are receiving from Baylor staff, students and Waco regarding the loss of Coho. We are comforted knowing Coho’s life plan was set by God and CoHope is the extension of his loving legacy,” Messerly said.

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