Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Guatemala.


March 9: Reflections from the field

Posted in Guatemala on March 9, 2013


Day 5 - Today has been an extremely rewarding day for everyone. Although it is Saturday there was still a lot of work to be done. We split into two groups with one group heading to Open Windows and the other half of the group heading back to the cinder block house.

Open Windows is closed on Saturdays which allowed our group to concentrate on painting the exterior of the building. They spent the day cleaning the front of the building getting it ready for a fresh coat of paint. Teresa chose a vibrant and happy yellow color that shines as bright as the sun. The team did a great job and the building looks brand new and ready for all of the kids on Monday morning.

The group at the cinder block house focused on making all of the concrete for the interior floor of the home. Watching the floor go in was a fulfilling and emotional step in the process for our entire group. For many of us we realized that we take so much for granted including the floors under our feet. Their tin home has a dirt floor and they take great pride in keeping it clean, so we know that this concrete floor with be kept immaculate. We made two and a half loads of concrete with 14 wheelbarrows of sand, 7 of cement, and 7 of gravel. We poured buckets of concrete while Pedro and Mike smoothed and finished, creating a beautiful floor for the family's new home. There was lots of laughter and water fights along the way.

The two groups met up before lunch to visit a migrant workers camp at a coffee plantation. We brought candy for everyone and we really were not prepared for what we saw. The living quarters were small, filthy and cramped. It would be hard to imagine 500 people living together in such a small space during the height of coffee picking season.

We finished our day visiting where the eco stoves are made. On an average day they have between 9 to 10 labourers and can make 10 Eco-stoves per day. We are proud to have purchased 10 Eco-stoves for deserving families in San Miguel Duenas.

It is difficult to put into words what we are experiencing but we are taking a lot of photos to try and capture our memories. We have shared many stories, a lot of laughter, and a few tears and as we get ready for our day off, we are realizing that our adventure is almost over and many of us are not ready for it to end.

Hopewell Residential Communities
DWC Corporate Social Responsibility Team
Guatemala, March 2013

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