A New Perspective: Lower School Students Service Trip to Guatemala

Written by Sarah McCleary, Grade 8 

Today we left Guatemala. The past week has been so amazing and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work along side the Doppenbergs with my school. Over the past seven days, we helped build a school, did a water walk (which was a major eye-opener to the struggles that many citizens have to over come each day), went swimming at Fantasy Island and met many incredible people. All the people in Guatemala are super nice! I remember on the first day, when we were driving in the back of a truck, Miss Harding’s hat flew off. The person driving behind us jumped out of his vehicle and chased after us until the hat was returned to Miss Harding. I have many fond memories of Guatemala that will stay with me forever.

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The children we met were so funny and nice and even though we could not speak the same language, we all grew to have an incredible bond. We would play “high low piccalo”, tag and patty cake. At the malnutrition centre, I would tickle and pick up and hold the children.

During our stay a man named Fernando helped us and always had a smile on his face. He was the true meaning of enthusiasm. I am currently on the plane that is taking us home to Canada. During the two plane rides and the lay-over in Miami, I have had time to reflect on this service trip and have come to realize that the things I have experienced on this trip have motivated me to go further and help more people who are less fortunate and that this trip has helped me grow as a person. Each night we had to share our “highs” and “lows” from each day. I had many highs but only a few lows, the main one being having to leave. I love Guatemala!! I got to experience a different way of living, different food and this trip allowed me to develop a closer bond with my friends and teachers. I will forever hold this trip in my heart.

Gracias!

P.S.  I hope to come back next year.

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