Jessica, Alba, Anthea, Pavit, and Dylan were removed from their chaotic college lives for six weeks and given the extraordinary opportunity to live amongst the hardworking and generous individuals of Enactus UVG. These students made it their mission to demonstrate to us that through determination and proper education, we have the power to simultaneously eradicate poverty and practice sustainability. After nearly two months of having completed our project, one question remains lingering in our minds: “What did we accomplish?”
In answering this question, it is important to reflect on who we are as individuals versus who the people are we aimed to help. Each of us has the fortune of waking up in a house to electricity, a warm shower, and a refrigerator full of food. Additionally, we are pursuing educations that precede a world of opportunities. Contrarily, many of the children of Santa Catarina and Santa Fe are forced to care for their younger siblings and face the ongoing temptation to turn to a criminal lifestyle to help their families survive. The people of Tzunana and Chuitzunchaj live on less than one dollar per day and have a scarcely limited access to clean water. Most importantly, 75% of Guatemalans live below the poverty line.
With confidence, we can assert that our efforts made a lasting impact on the people we helped. We served as positive role models with environmental consciousness to the intercity children and influenced them to pursue their educations. We also provided abused women with companionship and taught them how to earn income through embroidery. We helped the rural communities grow moringa, which will both nourish them and provide them with revenue, while creating a product to meet the demand of Americans. Our team helped build physically sound houses in an agricultural community prone to floods.
Throughout our six weeks in Guatemala, the students of Enactus UVG served as our hosts, teachers, translators, coworkers, and most importantly, friends. Words cannot adequately thank their organization enough, as we are eternally grateful for having been blessed with this experience.
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