Chensun Mills of CT Recently Helped Build Schools in Costa Rica

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Chensun Mills of CT discusses building of a school in Costa Rica. The school will service children of single mothers in a highly poverished section of Costa Rica.

Chensun Mills of CT, along with other parishioners from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Riverside, CT, packed their work gloves, safety glasses and boots and headed south to Costa Rica to help build an “escuela” (school) for children-in-need ranging from ages under 1 year up to 12 years. Chensun Mills joins the seven-member team led by The Reverend Jim Erwin and others, consisting of Greg and Dan Gorka, Ellen Hawley, Richard Kosinski, and Kathy Petersen. This work builds upon the footwork that began six months ago last year by thirteen teenagers from St. Paul’s Church.

The school site is in Heredia, just outside of the capital city of San Jose. The Bishop of Costa Rica, Hector Monterroso described the needs the mission is trying to fulfill, “In Costa Rica we have many needs, especially in the care of children of single mothers…the new home school in Heredia is under construction and we hope that it will soon be completed so mothers and children have an alternative option of support, love, and transformation.”

Chensun Mills explained that the school would accommodate children starting at 6am until 6pm in order to allow the single mothers to go to work. “By providing care for their children, this allows the mothers to work at banana plantations, local factories, or call centers and earn a living,” Chensun Mills added. The work the group undertook involved heavy manual labor of digging and carting away chunks of dirt and replacing it with wheelbarrows full of gravel in order to prepare and level the ground for cement flooring. Cos Cob resident Ellen Hawley describes the mission work, “We are building an enduring vision that will outlive us for generations to come.”

The mission work of St. Paul’s in Costa Rica adds to work by other groups from Greenwich who recently completed mission trips to Belize, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. Chensun Mills believes that this rise of international outreach is a trend that will continue to grow. These mission trips demonstrate how the boundaries of “community” are being broadened and redefined, recognizing the interconnectedness of sharing common values. “A number of us will be returning to continue on the school project,” commented Chensun Mills, “we, along with many other groups around the country are reaching out to communities in other countries in hopes of improving education and lives for children.”

Chensun Mills is an accomplished professional in business and education. A graduate of Columbia University, Chensun is highly skilled in working with senior-level corporate executives and business professionals, and she has also spent a number of years teaching and working with youths with a special focus on socio-economically disadvantaged youths.

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