Service Trip to Guatemala
Bringing some color to another part of the world!
OUR SERVICE TRIP TO GUATEMALA – AN EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER
On May 13 an intrepid group of Discovery Ranch for Girls students embarked on a journey to Guatemala City, Guatemala which would reshape their view of their lives and their culture. The trip was multi-faceted and was intended to serve as an opportunity to experience another culture and devote a large portion of their time abroad volunteering at a local “Daycare.” When we arrived in the country on May 13th the mood was light and the girls were all very excited to be in a foreign country, play with little kids, and of course, do some shopping. However, the experience turned out to be way more than any of them could have expected.
LEARNING TO SERVE WITH LOVE
On the first day in the country, the girls had the chance to wander the neighborhood surrounding the home base (run by Cross-Cultural Solutions, the company through which this trip was facilitated). They visited a local cafe, played some games and had their first experience navigating the language barrier and did great! Day two was when the real work began. The girls woke up early enjoyed a warm home cooked authentic Guatemalan breakfast then headed to the daycare where they would be spending a considerable amount of time over the next 5 days. The “daycare” was in the poorest part of Guatemala City near which was near the city landfill. The landfill was where the parents of the children at the daycare spent the day sorting and collecting various types of garbage to be sold to recycling companies in order to make enough money to feed and clothe them. These children lived in extreme poverty. The girls, hesitant at first, quickly became close friends with the children. They helped serve them breakfast, played games with them and began the mural.
PAINTING A MURAL FOR THE CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA
In the back of the building was a small play area filled with used and broken toys. The service project the girls were to complete was to paint an underwater ocean scene on the wall to help bring some color and comfort to the play area. Over the next five days, the girls spend each morning playing with the children and working on the mural. For several portions of the mural, the girls worked with the kids to create fish. In the afternoons after returning to home base the girls would eat lunch shower and get ready to head out for the afternoon/evening and experience and learn about various elements of Guatemalan culture.
AFTERNOONS AROUND TOWN – A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
The afternoon experiences included visiting the Presidential Palace and city square, making chocolate the traditional way with one of the country’s oldest chocolate making families, shopping and exploring the Spanish Colonial city and original Spanish Capital of Antigua, and a city tour which showed the deep divide between the very rich and the very poor in Guatemala City. This adventure was so much more enlightening and impactful than any written description could possibly encompass. However, what can be said with certainty is that the experience changed the perspectives of all the girls who attended and impacted their treatment in a way which no other experience could have.
We would like to express huge thanks to all the parents and staff who supported this amazing and transformative experience.