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Schroon Lake students assist Nicaraguan poor

Mission of Hope trip proves rewarding

Schroon Lake residents, from left, Clare Whitney,  Mitchell Beers and Nicole Beers took part in a Mission of Hope to Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua, this summer.

Schroon Lake residents, from left, Clare Whitney, Mitchell Beers and Nicole Beers took part in a Mission of Hope to Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua, this summer.

— While many students spent the summer working on their tans, a trio of Schroon Lake residents trekked to Central America to help those less fortunate.

Clare Whitney, Nicole Beers and Mitchell Beers were part of a Mission of Hope trip to Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua. It was second Mission of Hope trip for Whitney.

“The day I returned from the trip in February, I knew that I had to return,” Whitney said. “My heart really never came back from Nicaragua, which is why I know I will never stop going, for as long as I can. The work that I can do for MOH and the people of Nicaragua will never end, and neither will my desire to do it.”

Whitney and Mitchell Beers are Schroon Lake Central School students. Nicole Beers is a Schroon Lake graduate now attending St. Lawrence University.

Whitney was so enthusiastic about her February trip, she convinced Nicole and Mitchell Beers to join her for the seven-day July adventure.

“When Clare got back from her trip in February and told me how amazing it was, and how much need there is in Nicaragua, I knew I had to take part, help and learn,” Mitchell Beers said.

The trip was made possible for Nicole Beers thanks to an award from St. Lawrence University.

“I had hoped to go on a Mission of Hope trip since I was in high school after hearing the stories of so many others that had gone,” she said. “This summer I was finally fortunate to have the time and receive partial funding from my college through an internship fellowship award to go.”

The students stayed at the North Country Mission of Hope’s compound, “Nicasa.” While there they worked to improve the lives of local residents.

“We worked with Nicaraguan families to build home shelters for them to live in,” Mitchell Beers said. “We distributed rice and beans to impoverish families in rural areas. We painted buildings such as hospitals and schools, trying to cover up the dismal chipping paint and create a happier and healthier environment. We threw a birthday party for children who were orphaned because they were born with HIV, and celebrated with most of them their first birthday party ever.

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