Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guatemala 2013

Hey guys!

So, I just want to start this post by apologizing for not posting in a really long time! Life has been crazy busy and I just realized I never posted about my mission trip to Guatemala this past summer. Thank you again to everyone who supported me both financially and spiritually. You guys are always in my prayers. :)

(The church in San Lucas Toliman)

This past summer I spent about two months (the end of May through the middle of July) working in Guatemala. For the majority of that time I was working for a Catholic mission in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala which is located on Lake Atitlan (pictured above). Definitely spoiled to be able to work in such a gorgeous place. ;) During this time I unofficially worked as a long term volunteer which meant that Monday-Saturday I would help take the groups of American volunteers to the various projects and work with them and be a translator for both the Americans and the Guatemalans. I really enjoyed this job because it meant that was almost constantly talking with either Americans or Guatemalans and I got to know a tons of people.

 The mission participates in many projects but the main ones that I worked with this summer were the coffee project, reforestation, the stove project, and construction. The coffee project is mainly just sorting bags of coffee and getting rid of the bad beans before they are roasted and bagged again. This is probably one of the easiest jobs but it was one of my favorites because you had the opportunity to talk to people, hear their stories, and get to know them as you did an almost mindless job. The coffee project is a huge way in which the mission generates money and helps supply jobs for the locals. At the reforestation project there is a bigger variety of things to do at this time of the year. You can either fill individual bags with dirt which will then be used to plant seeds in the very beginning of the growing process, sift dirt that will be used for those bags, refill bags that have been damaged from the rain (which there is definitely a lot of considering it rains almost every day), make wooden objects such as kitchen utensils and various things that will be sold, or rearrange the bags of plants as needed. The stove project is a two day job where you go to another village and build stoves inside homes. The houses in which they are built are extremely poor and they could never afford something like this on their own. We also build the stoves with chimneys which go out the roof so the house will longer fill with smoke when they cook like they usually do. The stoves are made out of cement, cinder blocks, and tile (pictured above). This is personally my favorite project because you are working inside of the home and you get to speak with the families, get to know them, and play with their kids. I think this project is one of the favorites because you cant to see your work almost instantly and see exactly whom it is benefitting. Most of my best memories and experiences are from the stove project. The construction project this year was mainly tearing down old building to build an office building for the church workers. The guys really enjoyed that one. ;)

Apart from working with the mission projects I was blessed with countless opportunities and there was always stuff to do in our free time including loving on little Guatemalan kids which is my absolute favorite thing. Volunteers at the mission are either placed in hotels or the long term house but this year I was blessed and got to live with a family. This was super beneficial to me because it gave me the opportunity to practice my Spanish even more (there was no English in my home) and I got to fully immerse myself in their culture. Below are a few of the other places I got the opportunity to travel to during my stay.

This was a sweet little convent in one of the other villages that one of the visiting groups took me to. 

These were taken at the church of Hermano Pedro in Antigua, Guatemala.

There were so many great things I experienced and things we did I can't even begin to write them here but I just wanted to do a little recap so ya'll could see exactly what you're supporting when you support me or just see what my travels consist of. For anymore information on the mission or for volunteer opportunities check out their website 

Thanks for reading and hopefully I'l start updating more!


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