Today was probably one of the most memorable days of our trip. Today marked the end of our work week in San Miguel Duenas. It was a very emotional day filled with good company, good laughs, and goodbyes.
In the morning both groups split up to their work sites to finish the last day of building. Neither groups were able to finish their houses, but put a solid dent in the building process. We had to carry heavy beams of wood for quite a long distance. It was a good workout!
The rest of the morning was spent exploring the village and looking at past houses built by Developing World Connections.
Teresa introduced us to a family living in the village. The family was quite large and didn't have much. The mother recently passed away leaving behind four children with the grandparents. One of the sons had recently broken both legs in a work related accident, but the family can not afford to pay the medical bills. The grandmother spends her days selling homemade tortillas on the side of the road. Because of all of the cooking, the family's home is engulfed with smoke making it very hard to breathe, especially for the young children. It was a very emotional moment for our whole group when we saw how grateful they were with the little groceries and money we brought them. When we get back to school we are going to fundraise for this family in hopes of collecting $700 to pay for the son's surgery.
After lunch, we headed back to our work sites to say a final goodbye. The families were extremely grateful and more tears were shed. These families never expected to have a home of their own and it seemed like an unachievable dream. Even though we didn't get to finish the homes, it was very rewarding to know we were a part of this experience.
We headed back to the Open Windows Foundation to say goodbye to Teresa, Patrick, staff, and children. The goodbyes were hard but the relationships we made were celebrated with a piñata. We handed out Canadian pins to leave them all something to remember us by.
As soon as we got home, Mary and Mrs.Simpson booked us a salsa dancing class. It might of been the most we sweat all week. It was surprising to see how well the boys could dance. The rest of the night was free time in Antigua. Even with all of the choices of local Guatemalan cuisine, most of us opted for McDonalds.
We are now sitting on the terrace and we can see the red lava erupting from the volcano near our hotel (but relax parents - it's okay). We miss you all and can't wait (but can) to see you soon!
The Guat Crew
DWC Participants & Sahali High School Students
Guatemala: March 2014