Guatemala: Service Trip

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Today I am reflecting back on a trip I took post senior year of high school. I grew up with a strong faith going to Trinity United Methodist church in Denver and had my fair amounts of doubts and questions in my own journey, but it continues to be a strong part of my life that I hope to infinitely explore. I was able to go to Guatemala for two weeks to help start  build a house for a deserving family in Chontola, a small village outside of Antigua. It was a very humbling trip that was full of hard work, a lot of fun and time spent getting to know my youth group, youth leader and parents who joined us on the trip. It was a beautiful time and I almost spent the rest of the summer there to teach in the school my church supports, but was accepted into the ambassador program that took me to Malaysia.

I honestly can’t wait to go back and continue my own service group and explore my own faith and beliefs in such a beautiful place that has a lot to give and a lot to receive.

My church supports a great organisation called Pura Vida that was founded by a member of our church who spent time in Guatemala and stated the John Wesley foundation. Through listening and asking what the people needed, he built two school and started to build cement houses for families in need. A huge problem in these small villages are the frequent mud slides that happen, destroying not only a families livelihood but their homes. During my senior year, my youth group continued to support a young boy, funding his school education.

A little goes a long way. 

We stayed in a very humble building that our church build, was fed by an amazing woman and had our wonderful guides and construction contractors Maco and Fernando to help guide and advise us. Maco has build many homes and worked with lots of organisations who come to help out and he is absolutely wonderful.

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The work we did during the day was long, hard and often times strenuous and boring..but we were fuelled by our purpose and faith in the experience and the family that was going to have a new house to call home.

We also spent time at a school that is constructed and held up by wood and ferns. It is extraordinary to see what passion and love for learning can do. The kids were so wonderful and we got to get to know the school, amazing principle and see the growth on the new building that is more stable for the future of the kids and school/

When not working on the house, we had a lot of fun exploring the markets, wandering around and soaking in the beautiful sites of Guatemala. It is a wonderful country that often goes unnoticed, but the people have such humility and kindness that I was blown away by.

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What an amazing group of people!

This is an infamous chicken bus that you get around in throughout Guatemala. It is a bumpy ride to say the least…but it makes for an inters tin time to say the least.

I feel so blessed to have been part of this experience and am excited to go back and see the changes and growth that have taken place, improve my spanish and spend time with wonderful people. The food doesn’t hurt either.

You can support and learn more about the foundation at:

Guatemala Milk Fund

Pura Vida Missionary

Pura vida!

-Kaila

 

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