The 45 members are residing at the St Mary’s church in Arorangi; many of the young team are not familiar with the cultural habits and surroundings, having being born and brought up in New Zealand.
Chairman and tour leader of CICCA, Matthew Tauia said: “The initial idea for the trip came about 18 months ago, we wanted to give the youth the spiritual experience of holy week on Rarotonga, visit the various parishes on the island and to give them the cultural experience of connecting with people, the land and sea.”
So far they have enjoyed a busy week full of activities, church occasions, the school’s cultural festival and meals hosted by several groups.
Dr Teina Rongo of the Korero o te ‘Ōrau team, is also involved in the programme, passing on his cultural knowledge to the youth on planting, harvesting taro and the many types of foods and fruits and fishing and seafood gathering on the reef.
“The programme was an eye opener for both our young people and parents,” said Tauia.
The youth are excited to have participated in the nations annual Thanksgiving church service held at the National Auditorium last Sunday hosted by the Catholic parishes.
CICCA also welcomed Bishop Denis George Browne - the Emeritus Bishop of Hamilton, NZ on Tuesday night; he was previously the Bishop of Cook Islands from 1977 to 1983 and is also visiting the island for Holy Week.
Other activities they have been involved in are: Captain Tama’s lagoon cruises, visiting the creative centre, Parliament and the Punanga Nui market
Yesterday (Wednesday) the group also participated in Nukutere College’s Stations of the Cross at St Joseph Cathedral in Avarua.
Tomorrow, Good Friday the CICCA Youth will take part in the Stations of the Cross at the Matavera Sacred Heart church at 9am, later in the evening the team will perform gospel dramas (Nuku) at St Mary’s parish in Arorangi, everyone is welcome come along, bring along a mat for your families.