Monday, March 31, 2014

guatemala, la segunda part

Monday, March 31, 2014

One of the days on our trip was spent in a women's clinic teaching the ladies of La Reforma this importance of clean homes, clean water, and proper nutrition. Then we took the weight and height of all the babes 0-6 yrs. I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked, but I was too busy weighing babies on a hanging scale to worry about picture taking...

The little kids were too freaked out to stand still and get their height measured (and some were just too little to stand) so we eventually laid the height measurer thing on a bench so the kids could lay on it to be measured.

I also got a couple videos of the little kids singing for us. They are so stinkin' cute!

I was able to get a few pictures of the boys working hard on a stove - but first, a picture of the lovely manicure three little village boys gave me - blue sparkles, pink sparkles, and lime green. This is what I call stayin' classy, even in the jungle ;) The little kids loved getting their nails painted and painting other people's nails. Even the little boys. Everyone got a fresh new coat, and often a new color every day.

Mixing cement, and laying the cinder block foundation..

This is what a traditional stove looks like - that thing makes SO much smoke. Also it's on a wooden table right next to the wooden walls. Prob not the safest..

We also had the opportunity to visit another village to celebrate the inauguration of their new school house { it was a village that CHOICE had worked before so we were able to see some finished stoves while we were there }. We also got to catch part of a soccer tournament between this village and La Reforma. Oh and we all got to ride there in the back of a truck.

This huge house was built by Nazis who escaped down to Guatemala after WWII.

Isn't Guatemala just gorgeous!?

The soccer field {above} and the kids looking at pictures of themselves on a cell phone {below}

Dinner for the whole village. And in the picture below you can see what a finished stove looks like. Pretty sweet!

These are ancient Mayan ruins that the village has fenced off. There were more up farther on the mountain but the hike there was too dangerous so we didn't get to see the rest.

Also I captured a bit of our ride into the neighboring village

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip to Guatemala with husband's company, Grandeur Peak Funds { they sent the whole company + spouses on the trip to celebrate hitting a company milestone }. We went with CHOICE Humanitarian, which is an amazing organization based out of Salt Lake. Oh my word, it was so fun and humbling to interact and work with these villagers, who despite living without running water, electricity, etc. were just the happiest people you'd ever see. I have so many pictures so I'll probably do a few posts to get all the good ones up but I thought I'd explain a little about what we did too...

We flew into Guatemala City on Sunday and stayed at a hotel that night before taking a nine hour bus ride out to the K'iche' village of La Reforma. { K'iche' is the Mayan language of Guatemala and is the dominant language in most of the small villages outside the main cities - although the kids all learn Spanish in school in order to have opportunities for further education. } On our trip we built stoves with the villagers. Right now the K'iche' people live in single room wood huts with dirt floors and do their cooking over open fires ... dangerous. These fires fill their homes with smoke, making seeing and breathing nearly impossible. Their homes basically have stalactites of soot hanging from the ceiling and you can imagine that's what it looks like in their lungs too. The women also have bad backs from bending over to cook in the fire all day long, often with babies sung around them. And because of the open fires, kids are always getting burns from falling in. So we dug holes, put in cement and cinder block foundations and build brick stoves that had cement chimneys to carry the smoke out of the house. The stoves are also higher off the ground allowing the cook to stand at them instead of bending over.

So that's why we were there. It was an incredible experience and awesome to see the impact we had on their lives, and the impact they had on ours, allowing us to be in their village serving them. This set of pictures show our bus ride to the village and the crazy little cafe we ate lunch at, the beautiful valley of La Reforma, the cute kids in the village, and us hanging out with them during our down time.

Saw dust mural at the hotel our first night

bus ride to La Reforma 

Luckily there were 3 flushing toilets in the village

the kids loved getting their pictures taken

I fell in love with these sweet kids