Education, RWI News

Study abroad group volunteers with RWI in Pasac

122012-2

RWI students are not the only ones to benefit from a learning experience in Guatemala. Recently, four men and nine women accompanied by two guides traveled to Pasac, Guatemala as part of their study abroad program. Roots and Wings International (RWI) and Carpe Diem International Education organized this special trip. Read a blog post about the trip from one of the Carpe Diem students here.

The participants came from all over the United States (California, Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, and Connecticut) with some participants traveling from Canada. For a week, these 11 visitors lived with Guatemalan host families and sought to fully integrate into the culture and lives of the Pasac community.

Picking coffee in the fields of the Nahuala coffee co-op

Alfredo Guarchaj, the tour guide for RWI, coordinated many of the activities for this week: “The participants visited and lived with families in Pasac for one week. Each of the participants had a very special moment; one of the participants helped with the cooking and baking. Another one swept the house and helped wash the dishes. Both men and women helped with the daily chores as well as overseeing the farmlands of their host families. Many shared memorable stories speaking with their host families.” In only one week, these 11 participants had a chance to experience Pasac and to truly share in the lives of the men, women, and children who live in this town.

Activities were scheduled throughout the week to ensure the participants were exposed to every part of the culture and the environment of Pasac. One of the many activities of this trip included visiting the local bakery and helping with the baking of the bread for the day. Alfredo tells us “this was one of the best activities of the week as was the organized excursion to the local waterfall”. All of the activities brought the participants and families closer together and allowed participants to make a small financial contribution towards RWI’s educational programs.

The students help build a “temascal,” a traditional sauna used in the Guatemalan highlands

Yet, the participants were not the only ones to grow and learn from these amazing days living in Pasac. Alfredo spoke with the host families, who “are happy to have shared their homes with the participants and are hoping to see them again. All of the Pasac families were very grateful to the participants for visiting and sharing in all of these activities during the week”.

It is not every day opportunities like this can occur and allow for such an enriching experience for both visitors and host families. A second group of participants is already scheduled to visit Guatemala. Visit the travel section of RWI’s website to learn more about eco-tourism opportunities in Guatemala.

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