Reflections on Guatemala 

February 23, 2016

In February, 20 people, ages 29 to 77, from Plymouth Church, including two friends of Plymouth and Senior Minister Brigitta Remole, traveled to Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity. Together they helped build houses, latrines and installed smokeless stoves for families in rural areas near Santiago Atitlan, located on the shores of Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, 7000 feet above sea level.   

Harriet Naf says, “This trip was a rich and stunning experience – especially seeing the gentle and hard-working Guatemalans eking out an existence on scarce resources, polluted water and air, and subject to poor health care and other public services. Visions of smiling kids and eager students, striving people, a brilliant culture and their lush land will forever be with me.” 

Jeanette Hagen shares, “…Most meaningful was building friendships with the lovely Guatemalan families; Maria and her daughter gave us heartfelt hugs at the end of the day.”

Diane Nelson expresses, “…heartfelt gratitude for such an enriching experience and the satisfaction of knowing that with building something as simple as a smokeless stove or a latrine, a family is far healthier and better able to maintain their dignity.”

Rev. Brigitta adds,  “It was very satisfying to know that our work on latrines and smokeless stoves would immediately eradicate 10 chronic diseases such as typhoid, emphysema and cataracts.”

 “A mother with several children, and no husband, said no one had ever done anything to help her. Our team built an outhouse for her family and she was very appreciative,” said Trip Coordinator Bob Turner, “I encouraged reflection on work, encountering people, experiencing poverty in a third world country and our reaction as people of faith experiencing something quite different from life in Seattle.”  



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