Jake Edmonds '18
Leaving Our Mark
Hampden-Sydney College changed forever after the summer of 2002. Alumni David Klein '78, Michael Pace '79, and George "Trip" Howe '92 took their families to Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, for a weekend of rock climbing and fly fishing. As the three concluded their busy day by gathering around a campfire, Klein, Pace, and Howe discussed the possibility of putting Hampden-Sydney College on the map forever. At the end of the trip, the three, along with alumni Carlyle Chandler '93 and Lee Rice '01 created the service and adventure organization Beyond The Hill.
For the past thirteen years, Hampden-Sydney students, alumni, family, and friends have traveled to Central America at least once a year to help the less fortunate. However, for the past four years Beyond The Hill has traveled to the Dominican Republic to work in the village of La Lechosa. Throughout the 13
On January 4th of 2016, Justin Azar '07, Tanner Beck '18, Thomas Bourne '16, Hunter Brown '14, Ryan Carter '13, Robert Carter, Mike Daniel, Jake Edmonds '18, Matt Goodrich '16, Beverley Anne Klein, David Klein '78, Emmalee Klein '17, Patrick Kline '18, Max Maurer '16, Holden McLemore '16, James Miller '05, Sam Murphy '18, Will Outlaw '16, Richard Pantele '13, and Robert Sabatini from the Hampden-Sydney community started their commute to La Romana, Dominican Republic for a 7-day trip. This particular group was sent on a mission to continue working on the construction of a school (pictures show 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years of
La Lechosa is a village filled with Haitian refugees who have fled their country with the hopes of finding a better life and greater opportunity to escape poverty for both themselves and for their families. The effort put forth by Beyond The Hill to build this school has the ultimate purpose of enacting everlasting progression and change within the community. By building a hurricane-proof school, they are not only creating a place for the villagers to get a quality education, but also a place that serves as a "safe haven" in their time of dire need. Although the volunteers seek fulfillment in completing a physical act of kindness, it is also often said that there is no better feeling than seeing the smiling, familiar faces that participants of the Beyond The Hill program have encountered over that past 4 years of working in La Lechosa.
One afternoon I was taking a quick water break from the strenuous work when Holden McLemore '16, Beverley Anne Klein, and I went to talk to an elderly couple who lived across the street from the construction site of
A typical day's agenda was not an easy task. It consisted of mixing and pouring concrete, leveling ground, moving rocks from point A to point B, and back to point A again, moving mounds of dirt, along with many other tasks. Despite the varying weather conditions of mid-high
One evening the group headed out to a Batey to help start the foundation of a home for an 11-person family who all lived in the same one-room house. A Batey is an extremely impoverished farming village in the center of sugar cane fields. During our group's eight-hour workday at the Batey, we were responsible for mixing 50-60 tons of concrete. This addition of a new house to the Batey only costs about $9,000 American dollars. Although that may seem very affordable to us, it is actually many years of savings for a community as a whole to put forth towards one house. After working for a long 9-hour workday under the hot Caribbean sun, we were completely worn out and took some time to process the experience later that night. The level of poverty in the Batey was shocking,
As senior Holden McLemore '16 said, " We will show you who Beyond the Hill is, and if we have to we will use our words." This humbling theme holds a reoccurring impression on the many Beyond The Hill groups that come and go. The experience plays a large role in demonstrating the famous Hampden-Sydney motto, "forming good men and good citizens since 1775."