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Holland High School World Language Club is on the move!

The Holland World Language Club successfully completed their first service trip over February break in Puerto Rico. Aaron Germony, Molly Regan, Sylvia Waligora and Michael Zimpfer joined parent travelers Angie Waligora and Thomas Crowe, EA student Marissa Crowe, and club advisor Sarah Crowe on a 6 day trip to Puerto Rico. Students worked side by side with another student group from Winchester, Massachusetts.

On their first day of community service, students worked with APRODEC- a grassroots organization turning a former US Naval base Roosevelt Road into a site for community education and ecotourism. They moved more than 5 tons of tile! Manuel, the director, was humbled that our students would travel so far to help him on a community project that is just beginning to see progress after years of setbacks.

On the second day of environmental service, students worked with Corredor Del Yaguazo, Inc. to clear weeds and invasive species from a new greenhouse structure and surrounding new trees in the mangrove. The 4-person volunteer crew was overwhelmed by the amount of work our students did in a few hours. It would have taken them weeks. Again, they could not believe that our students were so passionate about helping them that they were willing to travel so far and give up their vacation time.

The third service day for environmental conservation saw our students weeding around new saplings and moving over 600 potted trees for reforestation with the environmental conservation group Para La Naturaleza. The group worked so hard they ran out of volunteer work to do!

The final educational opportunity came at Hacienda 8A, a horse ranch where our students learned about local vegetation (did you know it takes 8-10 years for a lime tree to grow from a seed?!) and animal care. To continue Global service projects, the World Language Club sold lanyards to raise money for Para La Naturaleza during the March 1-7th National Foreign Language Week, as well as participating in the Pulsera Project to sell bracelets from nearly 200 artists in Nicaragua & Guatemala, employing them in full-time jobs with Fair Trade wages, and providing a market for their products in the United States. They are a tiny but mighty group set on helping in the world one small step at a time.