CDHS Students Give Back in Costa Rica

NEWS RELEASE from Cairo-Durham Central School District


May 10, 2023

CDHS Students Give Back in Costa Rica

Cairo, NY – Four Cairo-Durham High School students recently returned from a service trip in Costa Rica where they interacted and assisted natives in the third-world country.

Sophomores Lauren Zecca, Jessica Baeckmann, Natalie McGuire and freshman Zoë Vogel, members of the Interact Club, all said they were overjoyed with satisfaction and a sense of pride upon returning back to school after joining the Cairo Rotary on its service trip to Costa Rica.

Some accomplishments generated from the mission trip included the construction of a women’s shelter, volunteering at an animal sanctuary and supporting the youth by playing games such as bingo, volleyball and soccer. Beyond physical help, the students said the biggest contribution was the establishment of friendships and connections with grateful Costa Ricans who really “came together” to form one big family.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic made the possibility of this life-changing opportunity seem bleak. However, when given the green light to raise funds through pancake breakfasts and sponsorships from local businesses, the students raised well over $2,000 each to cover their expenses for the trip.

“I didn’t think an opportunity over here could happen,” McGuire said. “I’ve always liked to help the community.”

Heather Maassmann, the CDHS teacher that introduced the opportunity to the students, was proud of their discoveries, service for those in need and sense of gratitude the students have following their return. 

“These girls learned so much about third-world countries and what children are like over there,” Maassmann said.

The four students said the trip was very inspirational for their respective career paths and look forward to future service trips in the hopes of helping more people in need.