B3 trip forms lasting relationships through philanthropic community service


Photo contributed by Maria Krug

B3 teams make lasting friendships through their week long trip, constantly strengthening their relationships with one another on and off the worksites.

While February break brings a time for exotic vacation, time to spend with the ones you love or time to grow individually as a person, for Builders Beyond Borders (B3) participants, it combines all three. B3 students spent a week in Costa Rica over February break serving and constructing buildings in underprivileged communities. While the students looked forward to many different aspects of the trip, team bonding and relationship building is a key part that many students favor.
“Throughout my years in B3 I was able to develop extremely close bonds with the members in my team,” Luiza Cocito ’19, four-year B3 participant, said. “Spending a week in a foreign environment without our phones allowed us to connect on a deep level and learn many things about one another.”
The team left on Feb. 14 and returned on Feb. 23. There were approximately 30 kids on each team and a total of five teams. Each team spent their workdays in different communities around Costa Rica building schools, community centers and other buildings that will serve these underprivileged communities. While relationships between team members were strengthened throughout the trip, relationships between other members of the community were strengthened as well.
“Not only did I become close friends with the students, but also with the staff members who ensured that we were safe throughout the duration of the trip,” Cocito said. “In fact, I even formed a special bond with our Guatemalan bus driver, and talking to him allowed me to improve my Spanish.”
The team goes on a trip every year and with each year, several new participants decide to join the club.
“You build really good relationships with your friends and also with the kids there which is really special, so I’m excited for that,” Talia Perkins ’22 said.
This was Perkins’ first year on the trip.
“The other kids on my team have literally become my best friends. It’s hard for me to think that I didn’t even know them before B3,” Hannah Sharkey ’22, who experienced her second B3 trip, said. “I made these strong relationships because I wanted to be able to be close with my team and have people that I would feel comfortable talking to if I needed them.”
The trip is an eye-opening and life-altering experience. The participants not only gained many friendships but also gained awareness and an increased appreciation for everyday things.
“B3 has helped me to appreciate the little things in life, from having clean water, a nice place to sleep, two parents and food available for whenever I need,” Cocito said. “Every time I came home from a B3 trip, I was more and more aware of how lucky we are to be given basic human needs, as well as education and shelter.”