Work Tour Brings Women From U.S. and Guatemala Together

Guatemala Work Tour
Working together, we helped community members improve their small water system.

by Jen Houska, 2015 Work Tour Guest

In March of 2015 I had the pleasure of joining a work tour with Trees, Water, & People (TWP) to visit Guatemala and volunteer in the community of La Bendición.  Guatemala is a country full of pride, hard work, and friendly smiles.  When signing up for this tour, I knew that volunteering on a trip was one of the best ways to visit a country but had no idea what I would learn about communities supporting communities.

During the trip, we had the opportunity to tour several areas of the country with well-informed guides from Trees, Water, & People.  For five days in the middle of the trip, we visited one community and volunteered our skills and supported another community.  The people of La Bendición are true leaders in the growth of a self-sustainable structure that provides a healthy diet and thriving lifestyle for all families.  We assisted the community members with building clean cook stoves, repairing a water aqueduct that supplied power, and worked in their tree nursery.

Guatemala Women's Group
Exchanging ideas between women was an incredible experience for everyone.

One of my favorite experiences was the exchange of ideas between the groups.  The community has organized several divisions of leadership including a Men’s Group, a Youth Group, and a Women’s Group.  Each works diligently to better their community’s systems for sustainable living and development.  The women from our volunteer group in the United States met with the Women’s Group from the community.  The women of La Bendición wanted to know how they could gain input from other cultures to better their sustainability and contribution to their community.  Together, we formulated ideas on how the women of the community could make jellies and medicinal salves from their land to sell in local markets. This is only one of their efforts to better their community and become a contributing force in their development.

The only challenge of the trip was that we wanted to do so much more work for the families of La Bendición, but we ran out of time during this trip. TWP is doing such a great job supporting their efforts and will continue to need support from volunteers and donors to continue this work in Central America.

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Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to developing sustainable community-based conservation solutions.

One thought on “Work Tour Brings Women From U.S. and Guatemala Together”

  1. Sounds like a very worthwhile trip. I went on a mission trip to Haiti in January and had a very quite an experience there as well. I hope to have the opportunity to go on many more trips in the future. It is important to do things to make a difference in the world. Both donating $ to charities and volunteering in your local community are very worthwhile ways to contribute to the greater good. But there is something extra special about actually interacting with people in other parts of the world and seeing other cultures first hand. Although I am “proud to be an American” ( with some exceptions!) I truely want to be a ‘GLOBAL CITIZEN” too.

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