Haitian mayor to visit Rockwell

by Brenna Ottesen

Last year, Rockwell students and teachers packed their bags for a week and set out to serve the people of Haiti. While there, they managed to feed over three-hundred villagers in a small town called Cotterelle.

“My favorite part of the trip to Haiti was getting a new perspective on life and realizing that materialistic things aren’t everything,” said Trinity Friedrich, a Sophomore who went on the Haiti trip last year.

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Image: Trinity Friedrich

Mrs. Frederickson will be taking another group to Haiti this year, giving more students an opportunity to take part in this great experience. Informational meetings will be held throughout the year for students and their parents who are interested in participating.

In preparation for the humanitarian trip, Rockwell is hosting a barbecue dinner reception on September 23 to welcome Madame Jolene Rene, the mayor of Coterelle, to Eagle Mountain. The reception will begin at 6:00 pm.

Mr. Beck and and Mrs. Frederickson are both very excited for the event, and invite students, families, and those who live in the community to come take part. Christopher Pengra, the mayor of Eagle Mountain, will also be attending.

“The experience and knowledge that they have gained from their individual and cultural experiences and history is something we value as being useful to us – it is something we can learn from as well,” said Mrs. Frederickson. “I think this event will solidify our friendship with this village which will open up more opportunities for us both to learn from each other and grow in ways neither of us could without the other.”

Mr. Beck and Mrs. Frederickson’s goal is that Rockwell’s community will become the sister community of Marigot, the community in which Cotterelle is located. Hopefully, this event will result in a even more substantial friendship and understanding between both communities than already exists.

Mrs. Frederickson is excited to take students to Haiti as she believes there is value in studying the rich culture that is not common in America.

“Haiti has had women in leadership positions, but not many, so having a woman mayor in a very small, and extremely underdeveloped area of Haiti is incredible,” said Mrs. Frederickson. “Madame Rene is also educated and for Haiti that is also incredible since public education is almost nonexistent and more than 70% of the population is illiterate.”

Whether students are contemplating going on the Haiti trip this year, or would simply like to come eat some great food while welcoming Cotterelle’s mayor to the city of Eagle Mountain, the event is anticipated to be positive for all in attendance.
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