7.5.12

Volunteering In Guatemala

This post is long overdue but an experience that I would like to share.

I enjoy doing volunteer work. I volunteer in my local community and have gotten my children involved in various projects since before they could talk. I have done work project trips in Africa and in South America were I worked with children at local schools. This is something that I wanted to share with my children. While we were in Guatemala the boys and I volunteered at a special needs school.
The teachers at this school are amazing and kind. The boys and I had the opportunity to join some classes, see how the school functioned, donate clothes, toys, art and school supplies and facilitated an art class.
It was a fine balance for me as a seasoned volunteer, now in the role of mother too. It was important for me that my boys feel comfortable with the experience as well. Most of the children were very quick to hug and touch. Between the language barrier and the fact that some of the kids were bigger and older than my boys, we concentrated on working with the younger children for short visits in the afternoon.
I am confident that my boys took from the experience all that I had hoped they would.  On our last day there they both expressed that they would like to do something like this again. Personally, I found it rewarding to have the privilege of spending time with such vibrant and loving boys and girls and meeting their families. Prior to this school, no such program existed in this region of Guatemala and several families travel a great distance to participate.  We had the opportunity to meet many of the parents when they dropped their children off or stayed to help out.  Their gratitude of being part of this program was palpable.





This little girl loved to see photos of herself on my IPhone
Out of respect for the students I only took a few photos during the art class the boys and I facilitated.  We came up with a simple 'how to' cut a heart using zig zag scissors and then colored them and glued some eyes on.

I am so grateful to my cousin who mailed a box of baby clothes from NYC, to our many friends at home who dropped off toys, clothes, school supplies, bike supplies and medical supplies.  I am so grateful for my mother in law's golf friends for donating money to cover the transport of donations and the purchase of pull ups and for clothing donations from her friends and neighbors in Florida. Dr. J's cousin for donating money towards donations. My fabulous blog friend Valarie sent us a box of of school supplies, arts and crafts and first aid supplies.
Finally I really really appreciate all of the support I got from all my readers here.  So many of you sent kind words of encouragement and for that I am forever grateful.

Above: The box of clothes my cousin sent and supplies from Valarie who is also the author of:

A million thanks, 
xoxo Ren and Monkeys

19 comments:

Volunteer Travel said...

Really nice posts. Keep it up...

Bossy Betty said...

What a wonderful experience for everyone! I am sure those parents will always remember your generousness and you will always remember the gift of this experience.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

The whole thing touched my heart this morning. Good warm tug :)

Viviana said...

I would love to be able to do more volunteer work. I have visited Antigua, Guatemala several times and I would love to take a trip to help out some time.
Thanks for stopping by Fashion Truffles! I'm now following :)
www.fashiontruffles.com

Melissa Blake said...

What wonderful wok...love these photos!

Wear The Canvas said...

So heart warming! You are an amazing woman!

Nuit Hernandez said...

how beautiful! you guys look so happy, helping others is really the best way to help ourselves. Congrats :D x

Valarie said...

Such a beautiful experience for you and your boys. I'm so glad they could spend time with these lovely students who I bet enjoyed it just as much.

Thank you for taking the time to go all the way there with your boys, and for preparing in advance to bring such wonderful creative moments along with you.

It's these little touches that make the world a special place and know you all are part of the specialness.

To my favorite golden family !!!!! Have a great week.

cpcable said...

I'm so glad it was a positive experience for all involved. What lucky boys to have such a wonderful mama to teach them the importance of giving. You rock.

little t said...

That is so cool- what a nice lesson to teach your kids.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

What an absolutely amazing experience!

Getrealmommy said...

This is fantastic! You rock! :)

Jessa Belle said...

I have always wanted to travel the world for a greater cause than just traveling... it is absolutely wonderful what you are doing and have done!

Love & Lollies... Jessa

Caked Vintage Blog

ElsaD said...

What an amazing initiative! God bless u! xoxo

Kimia Kline said...

what an amazing experience. thank you so much for posting about it.

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

The monkeys are so lucky to have a mom who exposes them to worlds so different from their own–I know they'll never forget this trip.

ElsaD said...

Thanks for your sweet comment! :) xoxo

Pat Tillett said...

You and your family are so amazing! You make a difference in the live's of others. For that I admire you!

nunu said...

finally getting a chance to go back and read some of your longer posts.. what a great experience ren. how special this time will be remembered by your family and really what a great use of your time as homeschoolers. inspiring!

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