Observations from Guatemala

Below are a collection of observations from the Best Buy Vision Team on Day 5 of their trip, giving a window into the people of Guatemala and the work Common Hope supporters make possible.

• Sweat equity is testament of a family’s desire for a Common Hope house. To clear the plot for the second house we are building, an old structure was razed, five huge trees (and the stumps) removed, and a one ton concrete pillar extracted using hand tools and manpower (probably some womanpower, too). All by the family who resides on the land. While the abject poverty is evident, the lot is tidy and organized.

• Much of what we regard as rubbish is reused—explaining the scarcity of garbage cans around Guatemala. Small confection containers from our ice cream event were scurried away by a staff member when the children all asked to keep them. They will be able to be used later as a reward to entice a child to return another day.

• High-school-aged interns from Common Hope were later spotted walking home, miles away from the project. It validated what we had heard about their commitment and willingness to walk for miles, morning and evening, to have this opportunity.

A couple of closing fun facts…

• Every day we hear fireworks going off. Today we learned it is to celebrate a birthday. A loud firework (probably illegal in most of the U.S.) is ignited at the front door of the person with the birthday. It’s startling and surprising even miles away.

• The second house started today is outside a small town at the edge of the “jungle.” It was fun to drive down the small lane as the canopy of trees closed in overhead—although we were disappointed that monkeys, constrictors and jaguars have not been spotted. Oh, well, there’s always manaña!

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