AHN missionaries keep the La Victoria mission alive with generosity and determination



A group of twenty-one Academy students, four alumni, and five chaperones began their mission to La Victoria in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, March 9th. Their flight went from Tampa to Ft Lauderdale and then Ft Lauderdale to Santo Domingo. Upon arriving in Santo Domingo, the missionaries drove 45 minutes to La Victoria. The missionaries stay at Sancturario Schoenstatt with a group of Schoenstatt Hermanas.

Each morning, the missionaries started their day at the chapel in the Sanctuary grounds with a Mass said completely in Spanish, folowed by breakfast before they began their various activities for the day. The week’s activities consisted of shoe sorting, family visits, painting, gardening, visits to the orphanage, and playing with the children of the Nutrition Center.

The missionaries, both new and returning members, were able to build strong bonds with the people of La Victoria throughout the week. Senior Rachel Astroquiza has deepened her connection with all the people she meant last year.

“I was really able to renew my passion to help the people of La Victoria on this trip. Seeing how much of a difference we made in the lives of all the people I knew from my last trip made me that much more determined to keep coming back.”

This trip was not without its challenges, however. Because the DR trip flew on Spirit Airlines, and Spirit charges for all bags (including carry-ons in the overhead bin), the missionaries were only able to fill half a suitcase full of shoes for each girl on the trip. To combat this downsize from previous years, the missionaries loaded shoes onto a container that was supposed to arrive at the Sanctuary the week before they arrived. Because of the corrupt government in the Dominican, however, the container was held up.

The container did not make it to the Sanctuary during the week the missionaries were there, and has still not arrived. Although the missionaries were disappointed that they were not able to deliver all of the shoes they collected, this allowed them to spend more time with the people they were helping. Although this trip had its ups-and-downs, over all it was a success as the missionaries left La Victoria with a sense of fulfillment.