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2011 Service Trip

A reflection by Michelle Hooper

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In 2011 I had a great opportunity to travel to Guatemala with Friends of Guatemala. The trip impacted me more than I ever could have imagined.

What impacted me the most were the teachers. They could have chosen to teach at any school they wanted to within the Guatemala City school system but yet they have chosen to serve this community. What incredible hearts. It made sense to me that Friends of Guatemala was committed to paying the teachers salaries. I couldn’t think of a better way to impact the children’s lives. The teachers and what they do on a daily basis to support, nurture and educate the students are impacting the lives in this community in ways that will multiply a hundred fold.

During the trip, a project that I decided to take on was creating a calendar featuring the students and their artwork that we would sell to raise money for the school. One of the teachers hand selected some of the best students in the school to create a piece of artwork that represented an aspect of Guatemala. The students poured their hearts into their work and created incredible pieces. I then photographed the student and their artwork and along with the help of the teacher collected information about the student – all of which was then featured in the calendar.

The fact that this school located on a railroad track in a part of Guatemala City where the children and families that live there are not allowed to attend the public schools broke my heart. If it weren’t for the Colegio Hope and the teachers there being willing to teach in this community, these children would have no school to go to. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met and worked alongside these incredible people. My prayer is that Colegio Hope will be able to thrive and continue to serve this community for years to come.