Friday, March 18, 2016

Guatemala, San Miguel Duenas, Thursday March 17, 2016

Day 5: last day on site

Today was the last day on site and despite knowing that it was the last day with the children, we maintained our positive attitudes. Teresa graciously offered us a tour of the community and we were permitted to experience various environments and levels of poverty. Everyone had developed a solemn mood because even though we saw smiling faces, our eyes would still look behind that and see the effects that impoverishment had on the families. 

During the walk, we learned about eco stoves and how the old open fire stoves were causing not only health problems but environmental problems as well. For the past few years Teresa has been trying to replace these detrimental old stoves with the eco-friendly new ones. We got to learn the stories of the people we visited and Mrs.Mangat (as well as the rest of us) made a connection with a grandma that was living alone. Meeting her definitely inspired us even more to continue doing what we are doing. 

When we got back from the walk, our group was instructed to aid with the concrete roof. Despite the fact that not everyone could help with the roof, they all still found a way to contribute by practising Math with kids. After we ate lunch, the entire group got to interact with the kids, play games, read, complete puzzles and speak with Teresa about social problems prevalent in the country. We noticed once again while playing the games that some of the kids were extremely bright and sharp minded. Afterwards, we led them through some planned activities such as "Musical Chairs", "Four Corners" and "What time is it Mr.Wolf?". 

We thoroughly enjoyed the time with the children and exchanged thank you cards with them. We got some in return and said our goodbyes, hoping to return to the centre. 

Before going back to the hotel, Teresa kindly offered to take us into her home. It was incredibly beautiful and she had very welcoming dogs and a parrot. We walked around and talked with Teresa about Guatemala, Antigua and many other things. We said goodbye to Teresa and headed over to the hotel. 

After showering and changing, we headed over to Fernando's for dinner. We had a great dinner and Fernando and his wife joined us for a delicious desert before giving us a tour of his chocolate and coffee factory. We got to try a kakao bean and a chocolate covered kakao bean. We learned a lot about the quality of chocolate and coffee and Fernando was extremely well versed in the trade. It was all in all very informative and interesting. After saying goodbye and thanking Fernando, we left for the hotel aiming to retire early due to the Pacaya Volcano hike the next morning.  

Panorama Ridge Student
DWC Volunteer
Guatemala March 2016

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