Our trip to Guatemala in Summer 2016 was a great success as we were joined by old friends and new friends alike! For the first time since 2012, a group traveled to Xela (Quetzaltenango) where they led lessons on constellations in a primary school and visited a successful NGO that shares our philosophy of investing in community-driven sustainable programs. During our time in Xela we traveled to Zunil to visit a weaving cooperative, experience the local market, seek out Maximón and soak in the natural hot springs.
Following the visit to Xela, we headed to the lake and traveled across on a double decker boat to see our friends at Puerta Abierta. It's always a joy to spend time with the students and teachers at the school! Please visit our Partner Organizations page to learn more about the great things happening at Puerta Abierta!
What would a visit to Panajachel be without a day at Escuela Central, a large public school, working in the classrooms with the 3rd - 5th grade students and playing hoops on their playground? Susie and her teachers are so welcoming and our groups and students never want the time to end!
Last but not least, we ended our time in Guatemala in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Antigua. Each time we visit we discover something new and exciting, and this time was no different!
Thank you to everyone who joined us this year to learn about Guatemala and shared their talents in the schools, and to all our supports who help us in turn support the local organizations doing incredible things in Guatemala!
Spending only 3 weeks in Guatemala during the summer, as opposed to 3 months the summer before, meant that everything had to be accomplished much quicker in preparation for the group arriving, and for ongoing support of our Women's Education and Empowerment program. I was like a proud mama hen when I visited the program and saw just how amazing everything was going! It brought tears to my eyes to see the women so excited to learn, and the hugs from the women were priceless.
The trip last summer was perhaps the best yet. While initially I was a bit nervous about having 25 adults and children on the trip, all the nervousness was for nothing. While small speed bumps are to be expected in Guatemala, the trip really could not have gone any better. I am thankful for each person that came down to learn about Guatemala, to make connections with the people, and to give freely of their kindness and love.
Next summer I plan on taking a break from leading trips after 3 summers in a row, but I do plan on traveling to Guatemala once if not twice this year. We are excited to expand our Women's Education and Empowerment program and are excited to see what the next year has in store for us!