Franciscan Campus Minister takes students on a Mission Trip
University of Texas at El Paso Campus Ministry students made history having their first Spring Break Alternative Mission Trip. Their Campus Minister, Friar Andy Martinez, organized the trip along with friars in Topowa, AZ. Students learned about the Tohono O'Odham Native American community and culture.
Here are a few testimonies from the students:
"Having the opportunity to go on the mission trip was one of the most unforgettable experiences I could have. Not only were we able to help and interact with the people of Tohono O'odham but they also taught us so much. These wonderful people opened their arms, culture, and home in order for us to fully understand and experience who they are." -Jazmine Castro, Sophomore at UTEP
"The people I saw and met in Topawa, Arizona have forever changed my views on how life should be seen and how I need to bring back prosperity to not only my life but to my Himdag (culture) and family back at home. A Himdag is a "way of life" that tells how a person should interact with the world and the best way is to keep balance.I set myself out to be educated however not only was I educated, I was humbled, enriched and left with a peaceful mind, heart and soul. Leaving to come home brought me heartache and tears.Thank you to the people of Topowa, Arizona, you have left a mark on my heart."-Leah Rodriguez, Senior at UTEP
" The mission trip was an eye-opening experience that really put things into perspective for me. It wasn't until learning about the vastly different environment of Topawa, AZ that I realized the infinite presence of blessings that are present both away and at home. My devotion to service in ministry will now carry the unique experience and memory of being with the people, environment, and everything that falls into the O’odham Himdag (their way of life)."- Angel De La Rosa, Graduate Students at UTEP