The Universal Language: Visiting Tecnico Maya

Marcus with the children of Tecnico Maya.

From the Journal of: Kara


Today has officially been my favorite day here in Guatemala.  So many memorable things happened that it overwhelmed me with happiness.  I love working at the work site but I can’t say I missed having a full work day.

We started off our adventures by climbing hills, hiking through the Guatemalan forests that led us to Long Way Home’s first project, Parque Chimiya.  Hiking in general relaxes me, but this specific hike today brought emotions I never thought possible.  The view that was around us during the hike was something I never thought mi ojos would ever actually be able to see.

Also, I met my baby son today.  His name is Carlos and my heart melted when I saw him at the school.  Overall though, each one of those children truly blessed me and made my smile permanent for those few hours.  It certainly is true what they say about love being a universal language because although we couldn’t understand each other verbally, we did emotionally.

This is who we are building for.

From the Journal of: Kadine


Waking up in the morning just gets easier and easier.  Although this morning was freezing, I still had the energy to get out of bed early in the morning for breakfast.  Breakfast and lunch were good today.  The whole day was a journey.  Going through woods and cornfields was a challenge because you have to be very cautious about your surroundings.  After traveling, we did a couple hours of work which was really dirty.  Dirt went in my ears, nose, mouth, hair, everywhere possible.  It was fun but hard work.  We also went to go visit the Guatemalan kids.  They were so nice and eager to see us.  One kid that I really liked was Carlos.  He gave me a hug as soon as he saw me.  He was so friendly and seeing those kids made my day.

Ellie with Carlos, a future student of the school we are building.

From the Journal of: Yvesha

August 10, 2011

Yvesh'a working incredibly hard today.

 The Best Day Ever!

Although I had no sleep tonight because last night was the coldest night since I have been here, I had the greatest day ever. 

  1.  I woke up this morning with a positive attitude.
  2. We walked ALL AROUND:
    1. The school site
    2. The hike to the park which was so much fun.  I would have never thought that a hike would be as much fun.
    3. Then the park 🙂 I had fun on the seesaw with Erica and had a great time with my peers.
    4. Then hiked back down to the site where had a water break
    5. The school! OMG those kids made my day.  They were adorable, cute, friendly, and FUN!  It reminded me of my purpose and who I was doing all this for.  Looking at their school made me sad to know that they learned in those conditions without many resources.   I was inspired to do better at the work site, at school, and in life.
    6. Working at the school site was the best time ever because I pushed myself harder than I ever had.  I was in every task I could.  I challenged myself to stick to hammering the nails in the tires and wheeling the wheelbarrows. I loved today’s work and was strengthened by it because I wanted to do better for those children, myself, and everything the organization stood for.

      Yvesh'a, Angel, and Erica prepping the tire wall for cob.

I loved the part where Matt was playing his awesome playlist that he doesn’t know the names of the songs and when he said we were too valuable to be at the park tomorrow.  That made me feel special. 

 Well I’m sooo tired and I’m out!

Inside the 1st grade classroom.

From the Journal of: Widly



Where do I even begin?  I completely enjoyed myself today.  I did things I never thought I could do.  I saw the cutest faces in the world and felt a sense of completion, hard work, and enthusiasm.  Not one boring moment occurred but of course me being forgetful, I forgot my water bottle but managed not to die out of dehydration and exhaustion.

So today started off with a muddy hike in the woods and corn fields to get Long Way Home’s park called Parque Chimiya.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Me being clumsy, I have tripped many times but have not fallen.  After the park, we went to visit the children in the school.   They were absolutely adorable.  When we came through the door, they bombarded us, giving us hugs and saying “Hola!” and smiling with missing teeth.  These are the cutest kids I have ever seen.  I played ball with them, took pictures, and played Frisbee.  Seeing their faces smiling so hard warmed my heart.  I felt very appreciated and loved by them even though they hardly know me.  Leaving was the hardest.  They didn’t want us to leave.  They kept hugging us and this one girl cried because we were leaving.  After leaving, we went to the worksite to work.  Luckily, we had just two hours of hard work to put in that went by really fast.  One task I did was tearing down a wall made out of cob and plaster.  It made me feel strong and invincible.  At the same time I was happy to do whatever I was told because after seeing those children I finally understood the big picture.  This whole project of building Tecnico Maya is for them to get a better education that they currently lack.  Many people have come from all over the world to participate in this life-changing opportunity.  I am glad the Get Fresh Crew’s fingerprints are part of the construction and the soon-to-be success.  I am so proud of myself, my friends, and my leaders who have worked so hard to get to this place to make an impact.  When we finally see the completion of the school, it will be an absolute blessing for us, the children, and the millions of hands who partake in its success.

The Get Fresh Crew on our hike: grupo con fuerza.

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4 Responses to The Universal Language: Visiting Tecnico Maya

  1. Rachel Mullins says:

    Thank you so much for sharing about your amazing day. I really appreciate being able to read about the lives you touch, but more importantly the way that the people in Guatemala have touched your lives. I respect that you all understand that the lessons you learn in a foreign country are equally valuable, if not more so, to what you bring. Through reading your descriptions about your trip to Parque Chimiya, I feel like I am getting a glimpse into the experience. You all are excellent at capturing moments and putting them into words, moments that probably seem indescribable. Thank you for these posts and especially this one. Reading this post and seeing your photographs has brought up emotions and memories inside of me that I have not experienced since leaving Oaxaca, Mexico last December. I plan on getting back in touch with the students I worked with (or more like learned from).
    Thanks so much and I look forward to talking more with you once you return from this great adventure.

  2. If my heart was warm before, now it has melted at the sight of these little angels! If I were there y’all would have had to pull me by my arms and legs because I definitely wouldn’t want to say goodbye to those adorable children. It must be so rewarding to be able to meet face to face with the very people whose lives you will have inevitably touched through your work. I love reading about your experiences, in that your vivid imagery and language makes the reader feel as though he/she is there sharing the moments. I can’t wait to hear from you in person:) Los amo a todos!

  3. Karen says:

    Sounds like you guys are having an amazing time! i love reading all your stories about your adventures and the people you meet. Such an a amazing experience to travel to a new country and leave it a better place than when you arrived. keep the stories coming!

  4. Rejeanne and Leonard Kowalski says:

    We look forward to reading your journal every day. We do have many questions about the construction of the school. ERICA will have to explain it when she is back home. You ALL should major in journalism—-wonderful descriptions, so easy to understand your feelings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great experience! KEEP WRITING!

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