In February of 2011, my family and I took a cruise (Norwegian Sun) to Guatemala. Before we left to go on the Norwegian Sun we had gotten a local orthodontist to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste and my soccer coaches to donate unused soccer balls. When we got to Florida, we stopped at a store to pick up school supplies, hair ties, hair brushes, ect. When we arrived in Guatemala, we met up with Gus, our tour guide. He then took us in a boat and we traveled to the town of Livingston. We first went to his hotel, Posada El Delfin. There we got to try tropical fruit. After that we got on the boat again and went to a local school. There we got to donate all of the supplies that my family and other families brought. When we were handing out the supplies, such as pens pencils, notebooks, erasers, the childrens faces lit up. This made me realize how lucky my cousins, my sister, and I are to be able to have these little things that we take advantage of everyday. Then we handed out some of the soccer balls. To see the smiles on the boys face made my day for sure. They all got so excited and couldn’t wait to be able to play soccer. The kids ranged from 5 to about 14 and there school day last from 7-12. There were only three small class rooms. Gus had told us that because there is little education, many of the people don’t have well paying jobs. He had said that one person makes about $273 dollars a year.
Watch the Livingston Tour presentation video:
After we visited the school, we got back on the boat and headed down the Rio Dulce. This is surrounded by tall walls of green vegetation. The river and ocean provide a great amount of food to the locals. We then arrive at a local family’s house. We learned that everyone in the community get together to help build these houses. They are made of wood. On the inside the family covers the walls with pages of newspaper and magazines to protect the walls and help cool the house. The roofs are made out of palm leaves. This cools the houses about ten degrees and has to be replace every eight years or so. This made me realize that we have privileges such as air condition that these families don’t have and that we should be grateful for them. The family opened up coconuts and allowed us to try coconut water. The mom of the family also demonstrated how they make tortillas from scratch. The tortillas were very good with salsa. Before we left we gave the children of the house school supplies and a soccer ball. Once again this made me realize that how the little things, such as school supplies or a soccer ball can bring such joy to someone and that we should be grateful for the things that we have.
After this we went to a hot water spring and a local restaurant. When we were done eating we headed back and walked through town and saw buildings, a park, and where the locals do laundry. Then we went back to the ship. This trip is one that I will never forget. I learned that we have privileges such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes, hair ties and school supplies that we might take advantage of. We should be grateful for what we have because there are people out there that don’t have what many of might have.
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