Perspectives on St. Marguerite's Partnership

By Paige LaMalva ‘20

The St. Marguerite's Partnership is an opportunity for St. Markers to enhance our friendship with St. Marguerite’s, a school located in Latournelle, Haiti. The responsibilities of the partnership are to promote communication, education, and cultural exploration between the two schools. Club meetings involve improving understanding of Haitian culture to members and developing ways to educate the St. Mark’s community about Haitian history and culture. Some of the projects that have occurred are selling Haitian chocolate, running the Haitian Independence Day fair, and sponsoring The St. Marguerite’s Partnership Rice and Beans lunch. The club meets every other Monday from 8am-8:25am in Ms. McColloch’s classroom, Room 128; the student leaders are Haley Dion ‘19, Grant Gattuso ’19, and Kerrie Verbeek ‘19, and the faculty leaders are Ms. Morgan and Ms. McColloch. It’s never too late to join!

The other part of the partnership is the opportunity to travel to Haiti. If a St. Marker wants to be fully immersed in Haitian culture, then this is the opportunity! Five or six students get selected each year for this opportunity. Following their arrival in Haiti, St. Markers will spend the night at St. Matthieu, an Episcopal Parish located not too far from the partnership school. During the trip, students will be able to interact and meet with the teachers and students and enhance their knowledge of Haiti. Students in the past have raved about the trip is an incredible opportunity and how they have built strong friendships.Here are some reflections from last year.

Why did you join the Haiti Partnership?

“I joined the partnership because I feel it is an opportunity to have an impact on our small community as well as on another school and on people’s lives there. I also joined because I feel it is beneficial to create diverse cultures and expand the mindset of students at St. Mark’s. By joining the partnership, I am able to inform myself and peers on Haitian culture and struggles. By doing this, we as a community are able to move forward with the intent of always learning and always helping. I am also simply interested in the culture and contrast of Haiti compared to America.” -Kendall Sommers ‘22

“I didn’t know too much about Haiti, so I was really curious to see what it was like. After learning about how beneficial the partnership is for St. Mark’s and St. Marguerite’s, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it to help make a positive impact at both schools.” Elise Gobron ‘21

What was your favorite part going to Haiti?

“My favorite part about Haiti was building relationships with the St. Marguerite’s community. I loved playing games with the children, singing songs, and dancing with the community! Although there was a language barrier, we were able to communicate through music and dance, which was so special!” -Haley Dion ‘19 (student leader)

“My favorite part of the trip was playing soccer with the kids and dancing with them!” -Kerrie Verbeek ‘19 (student leader)