just what those long hours of moving cement block, shoveling dirt, and digging holes were for, here is proof that that time and sweat really do turn into something; something(s) that is of great value to the local partners and communities that so many of you have supported over the past few years. It is always exciting to return to places where groups have visited and see the changes that have taken place, something that was very clear when I visited Sibinal in San Marcos earlier this year. Over a year ago, a group of mostly youth from Lombard Mennonite Church in Illinois, visited this area and helped with the construction of an office space for the team that works on various MCC supported food security projects in the region. The group literally spent hours carrying cement blocks up the hill from the road to the construction site, a monotonous and tiring job that one could see as thankless. However, those hundreds of blocks that the group carried were turned into this lovely space that has greatly benefitted the work in Sibinal, a tangible sign that positive changes are happening and that those long hours of work really do pay off!
For a more recent update, here are a few photos from the community bakery that youth in Xevitz, Nebaj are starting, a project that both the Youth Venture and Rockway groups supported this year. In addition to helping with the construction of the bakery's oven, Youth Venture spent a morning sharing new recipes with the youth; rumor has it that the oatmeal banana cookies have been a big hit in the communities!
And in other exciting news, thanks to the connections with MCC workers, Toby and Yasmin, the youth in Nebaj recently had the opportunity to learn how to make pottery, something that could become a source of income for them in the future - very cool!