|Westgate students celebrating their work done.|
¨This isn´t about them. It is about us.¨ - Said one of the Work and learn team members of the Westgate Mennonite collegiate who visited the Bezaleel school in Altaverapaz while exhaustingly looking back the half done soccer field that they spent the last two days working at- ¨We could have had hired other people to build the soccer field that the children need at school and we wouldn´t even have had to travel all the way here. But this isn´t just about them, It is about us!¨.
Bezaleel is a mennonite school of residential k´ekchi´ students supported by MCC that offers educational classes during the morning and vocational/technical classes in the afternoon. It is located in Alta Verapaz, one of the most isolated regions of Guatemala with very limited access to health and formal education beyond the sixth grade. Bezaleel also provides their students with bible classes, education about human rights and equality and a bilingual educational system (Spanish- k´ekchi´).
|Rockway group helping to build a road in La vega del Volcán.|
During the last three months, the connecting people´s program had the privilege of receiving four WAL teams: The Westgate Mennonite Collegiate from Winnipeg, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate from Ontario, Foothills Church from Alberta and the Rosthern Junior Collegiate (RJC) from Saskatchewan. Each group had its uniqueness and left their own mark in the different programs that MCC works with all over Guatemala and El Salvador.
|RJC group having fun with the children of ANADES´ daycare program.|
¨It is very inspiring to see people so young being concerned about the needs of their community and working hard for it. That is something I will take home with me.¨ Said Valerie one of the RJC group members after listening to the Youth of IBDC (Baptist Church ¨Disciples of Christ¨) in La linea, El Salvador talking about their initiative to raise chickens as a way to provide incomes, food, and business ideas to the widows and elderly people in their community.
However, not every place the WAL teams visit is inspiring. For instance, The city dump located in zone 6 it is a necessary but unpleasant place to visit to win a deep understanding of inequality and injustice in Guatemala: ¨Even though I didn´t enjoy seeing the tons of garbage and witnessing the people trying to make their living out of it in extremely poor conditions, I would repeat again this experience as a reminder of my responsibility to do something¨. Said Nate, a youth from the Foothills Church group during their debriefing time.
You can advocate for Guatemala and El Salvador. This is not about them, It is about us.
|Rockway students having fun with the local community children.|
|RJC Painting Anades´ daycare building.|
|Anadesa´s Land progression|
My name is Nancy Sabas. 26 year- old and born in Honduras.
I am the new connecting people´s coordinator for the Guatemala/El Salvador program. I organize the Work and Learn (WAL) team visits and accompany them during the trip. I arrange the logistics and lodging, help with translations, facilitate in- country orientations and - the duty I like the best-: meeting wonderful people in every community we visit and witnessing the strong multicultural connections being made. Each trip is fascinating, life-changing, rewarding and full of unpredictable adventures. I´m living my dream. Want to join me?