Summertime is almost here and that means it’s time for Joann and I to travel to Guatemala again! From June 19-25th, we will be traveling to Guatemala to join Catalyst Resources International with our largest team ever – 24 adults and teens who are excited for a life changing adventure. This will be my 10th visit and Joann’s 3rd.
To read some of the inspirational stories of our journies to Guatemala, you can read other blogposts HERE.
Of course we are smothered and covering in residential and commercial design projects right now and 2016 looks to be crazier than 2015 but that actually makes me feel better about leaving my life in the U.S. for a week. Nothing clears my mind better and relaxes me more than unplugging from technology and social media for a week and simply being up close and personal with real people, getting a good sweat on every day, breathing fresh air and feeling grateful for the smallest of things.
This year we will build a home for a deserving family in the poorest of villages. These houses are 3 room homes built on a concrete slab with a small front porch, 2 windows and 2 sky light windows. The roof is made of tin and the walls are made of wood. There is no electricity and no running water. Believe me when I tell you that these homes are the greatest gift these families could be given – something that they could never afford in their lifetime. In every instance I have encountered (I’ve built 8 homes to date), the house we build replaces a single room shack that the entire family (usually 4-6 people) lives in with very crude furniture (maybe a dresser and cement blocks or wood planks for something to sit on) and normally one mattress for the entire family. The floors are always dirt and the roof always leaks. The door is usually a piece of fabric or tin and never locks to provide safety and security. We are trying to raise $3,600 to build a house with a stove, water purification system and extra beds.
Photos courtesy of CatMax Photography
This year because we have a large team, I am hoping to put our guys to work helping to build a hen house. This is one NICE hen house complete with 25 chickens that will leave a needy family not only with an income source (selling eggs) but also means to feed the family. We are trying to raise $1,000 to build a hen house.
We will also spend time with the kids at House of Hope orphanage. The adoption of Guatemalan orphans by people outside of Guatemala is currently illegal. What this unfortunately means is that children in orphanages may spend their entire childhoods there. With the poverty level at an alarmingly high rate, a newborn baby can be a great burden to a woman. Babies are found alone on buses, left in trashcans and dumpsters or merely abandoned at hospitals. Thankfully there is a place like House of Hope making a difference. We will raise money in order to bring formula, diapers, medication and other needs to the kids this year.
We have opened a Gofundme.com account so that you can easily donate to our trip this year. As you can see, every dollar we raise will directly change a life in June.
Kelly and Joann