Builders Beyond Borders trip undermined by prior assumptions


Photo by Jake Navarro '20

The Builders Beyond Borders club visited four countries during their 2020 trip.

Jake Navarro '20, Web Opinions Editor

The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua are all counties known for their white beaches and their light blue bodies of water; however, they are also the four sites that Builders Beyond Borders visited for their annual trip. There is an unsupported assumption that little work is accomplished through B3, but that is due to the fact that many Staples students don’t understand the work that members of B3 do.

As we arrived at our worksite, the sun-scorched down on us, making standing in the sun almost unbearable. Prior to beginning our work, the site had a half-destroyed building standing on a completely flat plain. 

Each of our remaining days had a similar schedule. We woke up at 5:45 a.m. to avoid the sun for as long as possible, but the shade only lasted for 30 minutes before the heatwave. For the next five and a half hours, we dug 100-centimeter holes. Throughout the day, we had two main breaks, one for a snack and one for lunch. 

The hard work wasn’t the only challenge that B3 students faced. With temperatures peaking around 100 degrees, dehydration and heat rashes were very common occurrences. 

Although the work was under long and harsh conditions, we were able to experience some free time. Our free time contained a variety of different excursions, including a boat tour where we saw numerous animals, soccer games and sightseeing within the local community. I believe that B3 has the reputation of solely experiencing the touristy attractions, but they are only there to reward the students after their hard work.

At night, we went back to our rooms where we were packed into small classrooms. Eventually, we would end up showering using nothing but a water bottle and the water that was being stored in a large bucket. 

While B3 presented numerous physical and mental challenges, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything. B3 was able to give me a perspective on the world, which the majority of students simply don’t have.