The 2008 Plunge took place with the Mission of San Lucas Tolimán in Guatemala.
The San Lucas Mission is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Originally founded by the Franciscan order with the building of the mission church around 1584, Minnesota native Father Gregory Schaeffer arrived in 1964 to continue the work of the mission's founders. Under his leadership over the last four decades, the mission has flourished, promoting programs that empower the people of San Lucas economically and socially. Its outreach is grounded in a Catholic worldview that affirms the dignity of the human person. Its programs, therefore, not only provide economic support, but also give a sense of dignity and pride to the people of San Lucas.
Service programs at the mission completed by CNR Plungers included:
Reforestation -- The reforestation project focused on a Cypress tree orchard, experimental farming, coffee exporting, and bee keeping. Environmentalists had the chance to witness the benefits of reforestation.
Coffee Bean Farming -- Students assisted a collective of coffee farmers who work in conjunction with the mission for fair trade prices for their crops.
Construction -- CNR students and staff took part in the construction of adequate homes for families. This included the assembling of infrastructure components, such as a potable water system.
Health Education -- Nursing students assisted the Community Health Clinic in completing pre-natal care home visits. Education is sorely needed on other health issues, such as diabetes, STDs, osteoporosis, rashes/personal hygiene, breast self-exams, alcohol/drug abuse, dental care domestic violence, nutrition, exercise, and stress.
School -- Education majors taught classes and worked with the students in pre-school, primary, and secondary education programs.