March 29, 2023

BY JESSICA PETTEricaNewbigging

Guatemala is a highly populated country in Central America, with approximately 484 people per square kilometre. With this dense a population, living and working conditions can take a large toll. Many groups from all over the world travel to places like Guatemala to lend their help in an effort to improve the standard of living there.

Global Service Leadership is a component of the CSI Leadership Program. Fourteen students will be participating in the group’s third annual mission trip on Feb. 13, this time to Antigua, Guatemala. A few of them took part in the No Borders: GSL trip to Costa Rica last year. Erica Newbigging, a second-year police foundations student, looks forward to bonding with fellow Conestoga students while making a difference in the lives of the impoverished on her third trip.

“I love working through Conestoga because it’s a great way to meet new people and volunteer. Through going to developing countries I have gained knowledge about these countries and I can be a part of the change, which is a great feeling,” she said.

According to, approximately 75 per cent of the population in Antigua, Guatemala is estimated to live below the poverty line. The students will be taking part in several construction projects in an effort to provide some relief to those in need.

The trip costs $2,200 per student, which Newbigging says is partially subsidized by corporate sponsors. The group is planning and has already held several fundraisers on and off campus leading up to their departure, which will help offset the cost.

“Giving back to other people or cultures is one of the greatest things you can do. Helping a fellow human, aside from new friends and relationships, can make you feel so good,” said Reese O’Brien, a third-year energy systems engineering technology student.

O’Brien also travelled to Costa Rica with GSL last year and urges other students to go on mission trips as well.

“If you are able, I would say try and go. Don’t let a fear of travel or the cost (of the trip) scare you off. If even in the deepest parts of your heart you
think you would want to go then you should try,” he said.

Lisa Steele, the trip’s co-ordinator, has set up a FundMyTravel account, which can be found at 1448389136/campaigns/GSL2015/. The website allows the public to donate money to help fund a friend or loved one on their next trip abroad. Leadership students are on a mission

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