Vail Valley students make Spring Break special |

Vail Valley students make Spring Break special

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyVail Christian School senior Kristin McGinty and her classmates spent Spring Break working with poor children and helping other missionaries in Costa Rica.

EDWARDS, Colorado ” Marco Orduno met a 98-year-old former Rockette at an assisted living home in Colorado Springs.

Orduno and several other juniors from Vail Christian High School spent a day there, talking, dancing, playing charades ” really, just spending a lot of time with people who don’t always have a lot of visitors.

Orduno said all the old folks had wonderful stories ” like Dorothy, the Rockette, who also told him about meeting Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood and dancing in the Rockefeller Center.

Dozens of students from Vail Christian High School spread out across Colorado, and even visited Costa Rica, for a week of service work over Spring Break.

Aside from helping out at the nursing home, the juniors also spent time at the Salvation Army in Colorado Springs, where they cooked a spaghetti dinner for a large group of homeless people.

Junior Jessica Linder said at first, it was difficult being there, just knowing what all the people are going through. After a while, it became much easier.

“They are usually alone. It’s hard not to have someone to talk with, to laugh with, to share your thoughts with,” Linder said. “They would just tell us story after story after story.”

Seniors from Vail Christian spent more than a week in Costa Rica, and the students were faced with a level of poverty they had never seen before.

It was sort of a jolt to get out of a bus one day and see a man smoking a crack pipe on the street and a group of prostitutes just steps away from the church and orphanage where they were volunteering, teacher Patrick Beaudine said.

They attended a church service, and afterwards spent time with some children in Sunday School, who are extremely poor and were overjoyed to have a group of students spend the day with them, senior Bubba Murray said.

“A new box of crayons was like a parade for them ” they didn’t have anything,” Murray said.

They students spent a couple days helping out other missionaries already stationed there with housework and repairs, and helped out at a small village schoolhouse.

Many students spent hours digging a large ditch so a coffee and banana farmer could install a septic tank. Many years ago, this farmer had owned a business, but lost everything. The government gave him some land to farm it, and he and his family built a house from scratch on the land ” starting with cutting down trees.

Slowly, things are getting easier. The crops are looking good, they recently got electricity, and soon, they’ll have a septic tank and plumbing.

The seniors had one free day. They used it to take a zipline tour through the rain forest. And of course, being in a rain forest, they were rained on.

The sophomores went to Denver and helped several no-profit groups.

One group of students spent hours separating 50 pound boxes of potatoes into smaller bags that could be used at low-cost food pantries. They also spent time sorting a warehouse full of old medical supplies that will be sent to countries around the world.

They also served food at the Ronald McDonald House, which gives families a place to stay if their child is seriously ill in a Denver area hospital.

“I had a lot of fun ” it’s hard work, but it’s rewarding,” sophomore Devon Wright said.

Freshman volunteered at Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, which is a Christian retreat that gets visitors from around the world. The students helped out with a little bit of everything ” shoveling snow, cleaning and organizing the garage, helping out in the kitchen, breaking ice on walkways. And more shoveling snow.

“At first, it was like, ‘Oh yes, we have to shovel snow,’ but then we realize we’re really helping people,” said freshman Yahaira Ruiz.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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