Cate students traveled to Mexico last year as part of the Los Niños program. In addition to clearing out a school playground, they built a bridge, painted bee boxes, and played soccer with the children there.
Cate School has had a long tradition of public service, including a twenty-year relationship with the Los Niños Program in Mexicali, Mexico. Each year, students and faculty members travel to Mexicali (once in January during the semester break, and again in February over the winter weekend break), where they help local Mexicali residents build sidewalks and playgrounds for the local schools. Other projects might include painting fences or classrooms. All work is done along side the parents of the school children.
The program also has an educational component—Cate students learn about the political and economic issues of the Tijuana border area, as well as meet the men and women who are making a difference in their local communities by educating their neighbors in organic gardening and healthy lifestyles for themselves and their families. The program includes talks by experts on the local economy, and visits to orphanages, homeless shelters, and the U.S.-Mexican border.
While in Mexicali, the students stay in the Los Niños residential home which has two large dorm rooms—one for boys and one for girls. The home is located in a safe, middle-class neighborhood and the doors are locked each night at 9pm. Everyone helps with chores and meals, although sumptuous lunches are provided on the work site by the women of the Los Niños Program.
The trip is as rewarding for the faculty as it is for the students. It is always heartwarming to see how hard the Cate students work on these weekends, and with such good humor.
Several times a year, students travel to Mexico to help local schools with various projects. Here, Sarah gets a closer look at the beekeeping trade.
Students have also traveled to many other countries for service projects, including: