Envisage International is spending one week in Guatemala building an elementary school in the community of Patzalam Choacaman through School the World. We’ve partnered with IvyWise and Flywire for a joint total of 21 volunteers. Read on to hear our story unfold as a school is built.
Day 5: This was our last day working on the school and we only had half the day to get as much work done as possible. Our time was spent on the final coat of paint both inside and outside of the school, and finishing pouring the concrete on the playground. Members of the community mixed the concrete and poured it into buckets- from there we organized an assembly line to get the concrete from the mixing area into the fenced-in play area. All 21 volunteers had a job in line, and together we got the job done.
Knowing that our time together was dwindling, the children went around to each of us during breaks asking for our signature and home base location to be written with their notebook. We all signed, making accompanying pictures or notes. During recess we kept the students busy with hopscotch, soccer and learning to make flowers from pipe cleaners. Not knowing how to play hopscotch or make designs from pipe cleaners, Dana and Annemarie lead the pack by showing them what to do and having each child who wanted to follow. They caught on right away and filled their time jumping from one chalk number to the next and crafting beautiful flowers and other small designs.
Those who chose to play soccer were very familiar with the sport and ran down to the field right away. Not yet having official soccer goals, we marked either side of the “goal” with short sticks and let the game begin. As we continued to play we had many other students join in and it became more fun with each goal.
That day we ate lunch on the way to a local market where we bartered for beautiful hand-crafted goods like blankets, purses, bracelets, hammocks and jackets. The market was swarming with people and there was no shortage of local goods to take home to friends and family. After we all had full bags and empty wallets we headed back to our hotel to prepare for a delicious and engaging dinner with the mayor of Santa Cruz del Quiche.
Day five was a success and it’s with bittersweet anticipation we wait for the dedication ceremony. Check back on our blog and social media to see how we will celebrate the new school with the community.