Twelve years ago our church sent a mission group to a small village in Guatemala in response to a plea for disaster relief following a major hurricane. It was this trip that led to the creation of Guatemala Village Partners and a bond bigger than anyone ever imagined on that first trip. Guatemala Village Partners, Inc. funds programs to improve opportunities for educational and economic development among the indigenous peoples of Guatemala.
Each year, our church sends two groups, one in January and one in August, to spend time with the people of Pala and assist in many different ways. Jonathan just returned from his second trip and I thought it would be fun to share the highlights.
The group landed in Guatemala City on Tuesday, January 9th and traveled to Mazatenango where they would stay for the week.
The village of Pala is located at the top of a mountain and required a 2 hour trip each morning split between a bus ride and 45 minutes in the back of a pickup truck.
On the first day, the people of Pala give quite the warm welcome with a parade.
The reason that Jonathan made the trip this time was to celebrate with our student, Domingo. We have co-sponsored Domingo since he was just a young boy in middle school. He graduated from the university this year and Jonathan was able to be there to celebrate his achievements. We’re so proud of Domingo and happy that he wants to be a teacher.
On Saturday, the boys and I got to skype with Domingo, Walter (my father-in-law’s student) and Carmen (our new middle school student). To say that I am excited to have a girl is an understatement. We met her and her mom and dad during our skype session and I am so excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in her life. It is such an honor to be a part of these kids’ lives.
Some of the highlights of Jonathan’s time in Pala were seeing a honey extraction, attending the first day of middle school, playing soccer with the kids and touring the village.
These next pictures are really cool. Stop Hunger Now is an organization that packages meals to be sent all over the world. It’s neat to see where the meals go.
Some things are universal. Dinner on the second night was at Pizza Hut.
Jonathan took this picture for me. I told him that I sell stamps everywhere!
On the last day, Jonathan celebrated his 45th birthday in Antigua. Nothing like being serenaded by your waiters no matter where you are!
I’m so happy that Jonathan had a great trip. We missed him and are so glad to have him back home. We’re thinking I may go next January so I guess I need to start brushing up on my Spanish.