A lesson in teamwork

Do you remember playing with a parachute during gym class when you were in grade school? Several of us have fond memories of doing so.

Common Hope education promoter, Ligia Pol, led the activity with kids in San Rafael. “They LOVED it,” says Caroline McGee, Guatemala communications coordinator. “It was something they had never seen or done before,” says Caroline, “and it was very interactive. It gets them running around but also makes them think because they have to identify colors and work as a team.”

A school activity like this might seem relatively ordinary in a U.S. classroom. It becomes extraordinary, however, in a country where kids are used to learning only seated at their desk, copying notes from the blackboard. And it becomes potentially transformative in a country still recovering from the after-effects of a 36-year civil war, during which time teamwork could be seen as subversive and thus life-threatening. Knowing these things about Guatemala, it quickly becomes apparent how much ground a parachute can cover.

This parachute was donated by Chris Hurley’s Vision Team, from Winnetka, IL, that traveled to Guatemala in May. In several of the photos, you can see that Shari Blindt, executive director, got in on the action.

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