Hoban immersion trip to Monterrey Mexico


Nicole Leslie, Staff-Writer

Hoban students Maria Church, Kylene Coyne, Mateo DeCola, Sofia DeCola, Nylah Durham, Olivia Osmun and Roland Sturgill were chaperoned by Sra. Zeller, Sra. Bell and Sr. DeCola on a Mexico Immersion Trip in February. While abroad, they were given the opportunity to meet new people and learn firsthand about Mexican culture. During their immersion trip, they opened themselves up to being disciples of Christ, even though they were in a new and unfamiliar place. The group visited La Luz parish, sister parish of Holy Cross (Santa Cruz) in Monterrey Mexico. Students spent seven days working with the parish churches of Monterrey, attending Mass each evening at a different one, following Padre (Father) Pedro Carreño, the host, along with Fathers Armando and Marín.


Together, they passed out food and clothing to those in need. Senior Maria Church recalls how they gathered with women of the church at San Matias Parish. They organized bags of essential items, including diapers, rice, flour, and laundry detergent. 


Along with nourishing the physical needs of those in the city, they also provided faith based services. The group passed out Holy Communion, with extraordinary ministers, to those who are unable to go to Mass themselves to receive the sacrament. 


Fun celebrations were also a key part of this immersion trip. Like, the small party Hoban students and teachers set up for the local children. The resilience and positivity of the children was incredibly inspiring for those who attended as many local youths have had to live with the bare minimum. Hoban students brought stickers, temporary tattoos, coloring books and crayons for the children. One afternoon was spent playing and connecting with the teens (ages 14-21) of La Luz parish participating in “Vacation Bible Study” type of activities and getting to know the teens.


The group had the opportunity to view the different programs offered by the churches, like medical services, bible study, and even had a day to tour Monterrey and take in its beauty, as well as to eat at some local “taquerías”. One evening the group was invited to the house of the Vargas family where students enjoyed a home cooked fiesta complete with decorations and a near life-sized piñata. Each evening the group had time to reflect on the day’s events with Padre Pedro. Students were able to use their Spanish skills to communicate and learn about the people and the community.


Senior Roland Sturgill, reflected on attending a “youth group with kids of similar ages, participating in relay races, and other games with them.” In addition to being of service to the community, Hoban students also got to travel to tourist destinations such as the big city, witnessing the beauty of the mountains, visiting old churches, and standing in front of a beautiful waterfall, the Cola de Cabello. 


Participants of the immersion experience found that the stereotypes surrounding these communities were wrong. Senior Olivia Osmun, says, “Each person we met, we saw perfect examples of faith, sacrifice, and love.” Students were able to witness the struggles of immigrants wanting to better their lives in new places. Osmun concludes saying “I have never felt so comfortable in a new place than I did in Mexico.” 


Those who attended this trip want to encourage all students to go on similar journeys where they can experience a new culture, get to be of service to humanity, and be disciples of their faith.