By: Camilla Alvarez ‘21, Clarissa Alvarez ‘21, Presley McMahon ‘22, and Julia Torres ‘22
On October 5, 2019, the OLP Green Team and Fair Trade Club took part in the Diocese of San Diego’s Saint Francis Day Celebration. Representing the Academy of Our Lady of Peace were Green Team members Clarissa Alvarez ’21 and Camila Alvarez ’21 and the Fair Trade President Presley McMahon ’22 and Vice President Julia Torres ’22.
During the conference, both the Green Team and Fair Trade Club set up tables to bring awareness to their missions. Each club taught the citizens there about the changes they are making and learned many ideas on what else they could do. Presley and Julia talked to a representative from the St. Martin’s Parish and spoke about getting Fair Trade club shirts for all clubs at our school. They don’t want the impact they make to solely affect them. Their goal is to get everyone involved.
All of the people celebrating were so passionate about the topic of Pope Francis’ encyclical Ladauto Si “Care for Our Common Home.” We heard many ideas and goals about ways to engage staff members, students, facility, and administrators, and efforts to support activities to educate OLP about ways to protect God’s creation by taking climate change seriously. Some examples were putting in gardens, strategically placing rain barrels to collect otherwise unused water, and murals to add to the beautification taking place on our campus.
We met many parish leaders and representatives from other parochial schools who also took part in this event. They brought up their passions, such as addressing students about this matter and giving tips on protecting the planet through school’s newsletter. They also shared their positive experiences, like starting gardens in their school, which are helping to improve the environment. These stories inspired us with the hope that we can bring these ideas back and better the OLP community.
The Green Team: Our experience was truly eye-opening. It was a remarkable event that we we are so grateful to be part of, and everyone there was so friendly and open to us. Sharing their own experiences and ideas about ways in helping out the environment has impacted us to set goals and come up with ideas that we can bring to our club and address healthy methods to protect the environment, either big or small, for OLP students to take part in.
The Fair Trade Club: We have an overall wonderful experience! We shared so much with all of those who came to our table and learned even more from them. We handed out buttons and stickers and raised awareness for Fair Trade throughout the world, starting with our community. Attending the St. Francis Celebration was extremely beneficial and allowed us to make connections we wouldn’t otherwise have. Our club has now come back to OLP with bigger and brighter ideas ready to make a change!