Lincoln’s woodshop teacher heading to Haiti after school year


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many students and teachers are probably excited about school getting out soon and the upcoming summer. Two woodworking teachers from the Sioux Falls School District are looking forward to the break for a few reasons you might not expect. 

Christian Swenson saw his future as a woodshop teacher come to life two years ago at Lincoln High School. 

“I am loving it. It kind of fell in my lap but God knew what he was doing when he gave it to me,” Swenson said. 

As soon as the final bell rings this school year at the end of May, Swenson will be taking his skills to Haiti to help with a few building projects at a clinic in a town called Jeremie. 

Swenson isn’t the only teacher taking part in this. Another one from CTE Academy is also joining in. It’s all through a partnership with Avera Health and Friends For Health In Haiti

“An actual clinic, it’s not just a shack in the middle where they practice medicine. They’ve got X-ray and lab and pharmacy all in one location there. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done there,” Swenson said.

Swenson says they also have a wood shop. The last time he was there he built a table, some drawers and a few shelves. Clinic officials been asking him to come back for years. 

“Little different than this one but it has everything we need. They’ve requested some cabinets to be made for their medical facility there. That’s what him and I will be working on that week while we’re down there,” Swenson said. 

He’s excited to chip in and says while Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, the locals have great attitudes. 

“The people there are just so amazing. They have next to nothing and still are way happier than the average person here in America,” Swenson said.

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