Hingham High Student Makes a Difference Abroad


photo courtesy Coleman Clifford.

Coleman and a local boy from Guatemala play around on the building site.

John Goggin, Contributing Writer

When students get a week’s break from school, most will take the time to relax. Maybe they’ll go on vacation, or maybe they’ll enjoy the spring weather. One student, however,isn’t going to be sleeping late or going on vacation this April break.

Freshman Coleman Clifford is traveling to the town of Xe’quol, Guatemala, to help build a school for underprivileged children this April break, his second charity trip to the Central American country. Following his successful February trip, he is heading back to help out the local children once again by helping to build a playground.

“Originally, my brother George had went, so that really made me want to go there and help out,” Coleman said. The brothers raised the thousands of dollars necessary for travel on their own, through online charity service School the World over a few months. Right now, he is currently in the process of planning another charity trip to Guatemala, taking place over April break.

Clifford and other teenagers, including fellow student Patrick Cronin, as well as Coleman’s older brother George, volunteered to help work on a new school for local children during February vacation. He traveled with a group of 22 teenagers from the Massachusetts area to the town of Xe’quol, and they helped build a school.

“Mostly, my job was to mix cement, while as a group we were working on building schools and playgrounds” Coleman admitted.

Seventy-five percent of the population is below poverty in Guatemala, and over 2 million children do not go to school. With issues like poverty and violence in Guatemala, education is a great tool that can help children change and improve their situation.

“When I first got there, it was a very different place. The people were very poor, but they were always happy. The people I met, and their food too, were just amazing. It’s a great place” shared Coleman.

After he went once and saw the difference he could make, Clifford decided he would go again and says he is excited about his next journey. “I don’t know the town we’re going to over April break, but it’s a new place”, he said. “Seeing the kids there, and the whole experience, both of those made me really want to go back again.”

According to the donation page, the group will be going back to a previous community and helping to build a new playground for the students. If you are interested in helping donate to his next charity trip, please visit this link in order to donate and learn more about his trip, or visit here for more information on the charity, and how to get involved.