North Central College - Naperville, IL

Trip to Colombia Introduces Students to Service, Culture

During North Central’s spring break, nearly 80 students and staff members traveled across the country and around the world to serve others. The Office of Ministry and Service coordinated eight separate trips, including four to Habitat for Humanity sites. An adventuresome group of 10 headed all the way to Bogota, Colombia, where they visited schools and worked alongside a family that runs an outreach ministry through a local church. The trip introduced students to Colombian culture in surprising ways.

“I think for all of us our perceptions of Colombia as a country of cocaine, coffee and violence were totally shattered,” says  Chad Comello ’10. “Every person we met was so gracious and welcoming.”

Students worked hard during their week-long stay. They replaced an old patio floor and painted walls at the church, prepared arts and crafts for children during the Easter week Vacation Bible School, and traveled to a mountainous town where they designed and painted a mural on a school playground. While there, they met children in an after-school program where they played games and helped with homework. “The kids were so excited just to be around us and talk to us. They were so appreciative and treated us like celebrities,” says Mallory Blanchard ’10.

They also brought funds they had raised at North Central to help repair playground equipment. In addition, extra suitcases were full of toys, including soccer balls, coloring books, chalk, Slinkies and jewelry to give to children in an orphanage where they served.


North Central NOW Spring 2010