Tuesday, August 25, 2009


As I sit here alone in Fernando´s Cafe, soaking in the sunrise as it breaks through the garden plants, my coffee arrives in front of me. The waitress delicately sets it on the table with a sense of local pride; after all, this particular restaurant claims to trump all other brews in Antigua. I relay a graçious in return, and commence to slowly enjoy a small piece of Guatemala; waking up with the city in unison.

That simple moment at breakfast sums up my experience in Guatemala so far; a partnership with, and participation in, a culture that does not require manipulation by Western hands. We are here to serve the needs of those who live in San Miguel Dueñas - through their guidance and direction.

The days have assumed a balanced blend of routine and adventure; each day is shaped in similar fashion, with unique content filling them to capacity. It is difficult to localize the most significant experience I have encountered so far, however the summation of six days definitely has brought a unifying feeling to the trip. We have completed a lot of construction and renovation work for a local school. Another group of us is near completion of painting of the library, our home base, and the progress is definitely visible. The commonality between this work, is that they are loose end jobs that we are tying over for the community. We have a group of motivated volunteers that are oriented to complete these kind of tasks, with little other responsibilities. We do not have to feed a family, attend school, or go to work, so we are here to serve in ways that the locals do not have resources or time for.

Overall, it has been an excellent week of orientation, renovation, and exploration, and all of us from Guatemala are looking forward to the new experiences to come. Adios.

Riley Golby
Developing World Connections Volunteer Participant

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."

No comments: