Six members of the university community are spending their Spring Break in Guatemala as part of FIU alternative Breaks. They will help construct a school in the San Juan Comalapa community, working alongside local workers and other volunteers in re-using trash to develop the school’s infrastructure. FIU News is following the team’s journey through updates provided by the group members.
The cacophony of roosters and dogs woke us up once again this morning. We put on our work clothes and headed to the dining room for our last breakfast at the hotel. When we all sat down, ready to eat, I noticed one of the girls was missing. We went to her room and found her lying in bed with a depressed look; she had food poising and had to stay in the room the whole day.
Today was our last day working at Long Way Home. We started our day by painting the sign in front of the school, which we had spent all day yesterday scraping and sanding. We all worked together to put five coats of white paint on the sign. As we waited for the sign to dry, some of the volunteers had the opportunity to teach a physical education class. The staff helped create a game that took soccer to the next level. Three tires were tied to a tree and the object of the game was to kick the soccer ball through the tires without taking more than three steps.
After the sign had completely finished drying, we all went to check on the team member who was sick in bed. With our stomachs growling, we headed to the market place to buy food and other goods. While walking through the market, we spotted a pizza place that we had to try. The pizza wasn’t the same as the one we have back home, but it definitely was a tasty twist on what we’ve been craving for days.
After having some leisure time, we headed back to the school to finish our last assignment. Our final task was to fill a bucket with the gravel we had previously sifted and carry it up the wall of tires in order to make a water filtering system. We took turns filling up their buckets and making it up the tires one by one. After an exhausting day, we felt accomplished having finally finished all the tasks that given to us.
Even though we felt relief that all the hard labor was over, we were sad that we had to leave this wonderful place we’ve been calling home for the past few days. We hugged everyone goodbye and took our last stroll down the rugged hills back to our hotel for our last night in San Juan Comalapa.
– Maylen Morales