SAN ANTONIO -

It's back to the choir room for members of the Reagan High School Choir after what for some students was an unbelievable summer.

A total of 40 choir members and 25 chaperones and school personnel took a moving and musical trip to Peru, which included a performance at the San Pedro Orphanage in Cusco.

Dressed warmly in that Andes Mountains town in mid-winter, they learned the 45 girls living there ages six to 21, had no working water heaters.

Matthew Marinelli, a 16-year old Reagan Junior on the trip knew it was warm back in Texas. 

"We think it's 100-degrees here so it must be hot for them but it was freezing," Marinelli said.

So along with the gift bags they brought for the orphans, they also donated two new water heaters. And what the orphans gave back to these high school students was more than a song.

Because in these poor Peruvians the Reagan entourage got a lesson in faith, in life and in esperanza. Hope.

Natalia Elizondo, a 17-year old Reagan Junior, said it opened her eyes. "You realized how much we have and how grateful we have to be for it," Elizondo said.

"All we had to give them was items and they had joy and life," Marinelli said.

"I saw how happy they were without having all the materialistic things that we do," Elizondo said.

Matthew’s mother, Kim Marinelli, was a chaperone on the trip and was also amazed at the spirit of the orphans

"The joy in their faces and the sisterhood," Kim Marinelli said.

Mary Cowart, Reagan’s Choir Director, went on the trip as well and said this is the first time a service project was included in the international trip.

"I think it's important for our kids to see what more of the world is like than not," Cowart said.

For students this was more than just a summer trip, it was a lifetime lesson.

One of the water heaters was donated by a dad who was chaperoning who was himself an orphan.

The choir director also donated her collection of music education CD's.

For a list of recent stories Brian Mylar has done, click here.