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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

“The week of joy”: Christ Chapel College’s annual trip to Belize

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Delaney Vega, a TCU journalism junior, is painting a school in Belize. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)

The island nation of Belize has become a popular spring break destination for some TCU students, but they aren’t going for the beaches.

Each year  TCU students and Christ Chapel College church leaders visit the Central American country to work on community projects. Their efforts are meant to foster cross-cultural connections and allow them to share their faith.

The mission trip has been happening for over a decade; attendance and student interest have spiked in recent years. This year, a record-breaking 174 students opted to spend their spring break helping others.

Belizean children are enjoying their time playing with students from Christ Chapel College. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)

Taylor Habwiger has been a member of Christ Chapel College since 2022 and works as the project manager and associate director of shepherding. Habwiger spends the months of November through March organizing and planning the annual mission trip.

Rhonda and Kris Fagala, the couple who originally pioneered the trip, started creating connections in Belize around 20 years ago. Today, they work closely with Pastor Cano, a Belizean pastor, to ensure the mission trip runs smoothly.

“The couple embarks on a scouting trip about a month or two before spring break and meets with Cano to ask him what the community needs from the students,” Habwiger said.

Cano provides a variety of tasks to be completed throughout the mission trip ranging from construction projects, to painting schools and churches, to teaching children how to strengthen their faith.

The community’s response

Habwiger highlights the impact of this annual trip on the children of Belize, stating that the Belizean children even refer to it as their “week of joy.”

Each year, the mission trip happens to take place over a Belizean national holiday called Baron Bliss Day. On this holiday, students are not required to attend school, but each year they refuse to take the day off because they are overwhelmed with excitement to once again see the Christ Chapel community visit their home.

Teja Sieber is spending time with her new friend in Belize. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)

Teja Sieber, a TCU pre-med junior, who attended the mission trip for the first time this year explained her experience as “life-changing”. During her time on the trip, she formed a close bond with one of the children who attended school in Belize. On the last day of the trip, the little girl’s eyes filled with tears as she realized that she would not see her new friend for another year.

“In that moment I realized how much this week impacted the children and how much happiness that one week of the year truly brings to them,” Sieber said.

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