Fourteen students from St. Mary's High School in Owen Sound say they will never be the same again.
They have returned from El Salvador, where they spent two weeks working in an orphanage with 140 abandoned children and adults with physical and mental disabilities.
Student Vanessa Nunno says the trip made her realize the biggest educational experiences happen outside of the classroom.
She says the excursion allowed students to explore the world and develop a whole new perspective on life.
Student Paige O'Neil says after working with the poorest of the poor, the experience taught her to be grateful for everything.
Student Kortney Holm sums up the trip as a humbling experience where students learned the true meaning of life which is love.
They say many of the children in the orphanage will spend their entire lives there due to the extreme nature of their disabilities.
They also know that some of their new friends will never even get the chance to reach adulthood due to their health conditions.
While in El Salvador, the students worked with the residents of the orphanage and participated in short trips outside the orphanage.
The orphanage is located in Planes de Renderos, 45 minutes northwest of San Salvador, El Salvador's capital.