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Retreat Groups

Overview

Learn what it is like to immerse yourself into the margins in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Logistics and Resources

More details about the Retreat Groups

How to Stay Involved

Staying connected to Rostro de Cristo after your retreat experience

2017-2018 Retreat Groups

We are grateful to be partnered with many excellent schools and institutions that are taking part in our retreat group programs.

Overview

The Rostro de Cristo Retreat Program has offered over 3,000 participants from high schools, universities, parishes and seminaries an opportunity to live, work and pray in community in Ecuador for a period of seven days to two weeks.

Groups live in retreat houses designed and built for the program within two neighborhoods on the outskirts of Guayaquil. Emphasis is placed on being with members of the local community rather than doing for them, building relationships and developing a greater understanding of the reality of Ecuadorians, through visits and dialogue.

Rostro de Cristo works with various partners across the cities of Durán and Guayaquil which retreat participants may visit, including: Fundacion Nuevo Mundo, a progressive bilingual school for the disadvantaged of Durán and Guayaquil and Hogar de Cristo, an international Jesuit organization that provides affordable housing and social services to the poor. In addition, Rostro de Cristo has founded and runs after-school programs, which groups visit and participate in.

Retreat participants share activities to maintain living quarters, including trips to the local market, cooking and cleaning. Groups are invited to participate in parish liturgy and make time for daily prayer and reflection.

It is our hope that through these experiences, young people will touch, taste, smell, see and feel how the developing world lives and be forever changed.   The retreat program is thus devoted to inspiring life-long commitments to service, faith and social justice.

Logistics and Resources

Groups

Rostro de Cristo invites the participation of men and women from U.S. high schools, universities, parishes, seminaries, and various other associations into our retreat program. Group size is normally between ten and fourteen people. At least one person in the group should speak Spanish.

Length

Retreats ordinarily last seven to ten days, depending on the time of year, including two days for travel.

Activities

Throughout their time in Durán or Guayaquil, guests will mingle with the people in the community and spend a number of hours each day visiting and learning from community programs.  Group members will also share activities to maintain the living quarters: shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.  Each evening will culminate with a group reflection.

Prayer/Liturgy

Groups are encouraged to make time for prayer and reflection daily, as well as to participate in the parish liturgy. The experience will be enhanced according to the willingness of participants to share thoughts, feelings and experiences before, during, and after with other participants and their communities.

Details

The cost is $600 per person, plus air fare. Cost should not be an obstacle; funding information is available. U.S. passport is required, but a Visa is not required. While no shots are necessary for entry, consultation with your physician is recommended.

Additional Information

To learn more about how your group can participate in our retreat program email us or contact Rostro de Cristo at: (617)-746-5892

Stay Involved

Share Your Experience

Start by sharing your experience with people who supported you trip.  Your family, friends and sponsors will love to hear about what you did and how the experience affected you, this is also a great way to thank them for helping sponsor your trip.  They supported your trip in a financial way and will most likely be very excited to know how the retreat impacted you and what their support contributed to.

Write A Reflection

Part of your Rostro de Cristo experience was, of course, the spiritual aspect.  Take some time to think about the meaning of your spirituality and how, if at all, your faith and/or relationship with God have changed. For some people it can be difficult to try to share their experience.  However, talking about what you did and what you felt and experienced can be one of the best ways to process your experience and make meaning for your life. If you are interested in sharing your experience with others through a reflection, contact the RdC Fellow.

Live Simply

One aspect of the Rostro de Cristo retreat that you can work into your life here at home on a daily basis is the concept of simple living.  Ask yourself the following questions for continued reflection on how your experience in Ecuador can continue to stay with you.

  1. Has your idea of simple living changed since you’ve been back?
  2. How can you incorporate simple living into your life here in the U.S.?
  3. Do you feel the same or differently about material possessions?
  4. What did it feel like to live for a week on very little?
  5. How was it to live for a week without TV, cell phone and other distractions? Did you find yourself spending more time in quality conversations and if not, how did you spend the free time in the evening?
Stay Connected to the Community

Staying involved can be difficult when returning to the states.  Some people worry that with life’s daily activities such as school, job, family, friends, that there is the possibility to “lose” the feelings and ideas you had in Ecuador.  There might be a fear that your experience will become something that is only kept in pictures that you occasionally take out and look at.  This does not have to happen.  How can you stay involved and make life choices to stay involved?

  1. Connect with Rostro de Cristo on Facebook.
  2. Get involved in your campus ministry office.
  3. Stay in touch with what is happening in Arbolito and Mount Sinai, and read our volunteer blogs.
  4. Stay connected to those who shared your experience.
  5. Check out Catholic Relief Services website and click “get involved.”
  6. Incorporate what you learned about another culture into your daily life.
  7. Become aware of people’s differences and how you evaluate and react to them.
  8. Try new experiences at home like you did in Ecuador.
  9. Most importantly, remember what you learned and allow it to continue to breathe new energy into your life here in the U.S.

2017-2018 Retreat Groups

We are grateful to be partnered with many excellent schools and institutions that are taking part in our retreat group programs. For the 2017-2018 season, we look forward to welcoming and walking the streets of Ecuador with:

Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA)

St. John Paul II High School (Barnstable, MA)

Assumption College (Worcester, MA)

St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, PA)

Manhattan College (Bronx, NY)

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)

St. John’s Preparatory School (Danvers, MA)

St. John’s High School (Shrewsbury, MA)

Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA)

Villanova University (Villanova, PA)

Catholic University of America (Washington, DC)

St Mary’s University, Texas (San Antonio, TX)

Fordham University (Bronx, NY)

Notre Dame Prep School (Fitchburg, MA)

Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)

Fairfield Preparatory School (Fairfield, CT)

Xaverian Brothers High School (Westwood, MA)

Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)

Cabrini University (Radnor, PA)

John Carroll University (University Heights, OH)

Merrimack College (North Andover, MA)

St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati, OH)

University of Detroit High School (Detroit, MI)

St. Rose of Lima 

Walsh Jesuit High School (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) 

Xavier High School (New York, NY)

Magnificat High School (Rocky River, OH)

St. Ignatius College Prep (Chicago, IL)

If you recently returned from a Rostro de Cristo retreat group experience, be sure to check out our “Stay Involved” section for ways you can continue to reflect, process, and act on your inter-cultural service learning immersion experience.