While many high school students spent the beginning of their summer vacation on the beach and working their summer jobs, one Duxbury resident traveled abroad to do community service in a third world country.

Patrick O’Donnell, a Boston College High School student, recently returned from a trip to Belize, where he and a group of his fellow students constructed a home for a woman. Along with 11 classmates and BC High faculty members Shawn Ahern and Dr. John Sullivan, O’Donnell spent his first week of summer vacation with Hand in Hand Ministries, building a home for Josefina Garcia.

Hand in Hand Ministries was started by two brothers who saw an opportunity to help others by building simple, stable housing for residents in Appalachia and Central America.

By the end of the week, the group had finished construction on the 16’x16’ home in Belize City, and had the opportunity to visit a local day- care center which provides services for children affected by poverty and disease. Through a bake sale and video game tournament fundraiser, the high school students were able to deliver shoes to the children at the daycare.

In addition to their community service, the students visited the Altun Ha Maya temple site, toured the Old Belize Museum, and stopped by the Caye Caulker beach.