As the beginning of the New Year approached, many RC students prepared for an experience of a lifetime. Jesse Griffin, the Director of Community Service, and a group of students traveled to Guatemala to do something incredible with their last week of Winter Break.
Arriving in Guatemala City, RC students made their way into Antigua which was Guatemala’s original capital city, to devote a week’s worth of hard work to building homes for impoverished families. The 11 RC students and staff lived in two different homestays in Antigua while they were there and worked with a non-profit organization called ConstruCasa.
ConstruCasa works to build homes out of cinder blocks for families in need, in and around Antigua. Their dedication and hard work in building basic three room homes that include toilets, running water, electricity and an oven, provides a life changing threshold into an improved lifestyle for families with barely anything. RC students built and were able to complete homes as well as experience the culture of this enriching Latin American country.
Students were able to experience what it is like to live in a Latin American city through the markets and restaurants nearby. Trying the hot chocolate at CafÃ© Condesa was a new experience for many of the RC students as well as the brightly colored shops and stands in the market area which sold every type of item from local vegetables to clothing to toys. Along with being able to tour Antigua and many of its Spanish and indigenous influences, the group was also able to climb the Pacaya volcano on their final day.
“The trip was an experience that opened my eyes to a new group of people, a different culture, and a level of poverty I’ve never seen before. And all of these new sights influenced my perspective on the needs, desires, and what’s truly important in life upon return,” states Lauren Kennedy ’14.