Education abroad outweighs fears |

Education abroad outweighs fears

Dear Editor:

My son just returned safely from his service learning trip to Mexico with Matt Fields and Peter Westcott (“Parent: Should Aspen students be sent to ‘war zone’?, May 5). This type of experience goes far beyond what students learn in a classroom.

My son had the opportunity to live with a Mexican family and help create a more functional school facility for their children. This experience will stay with him for the rest of his life. He learned first-hand what life in a rural Mexican town is like. You simply can’t learn that lesson any other way. Did this trip involve risk? You bet, the bus could have been in an accident, they could have contracted E. coli eating at a fast food restaurant … and on and on. In the United States, simply going to school has proved to be far more dangerous to students than crossing the Mexican boarder.

You take the precautions when and where you can, and you go on about your life. We simply cannot bubble wrap our children and guarantee their safe passage through life. It is not possible. Was I concerned about his safety? Yes, I would be lying to say I wasn’t concerned. I’m a mother, therefore I worry. But the educational benefit far outweighed my fears, and my son had a truly wonderful experience.

I want to extend my thanks to Peter Westcott, Matt Fields and the bevy of parents that made this trip possible!

Gail Mason