2016 Spring Trip:
A Big Success!
41 youth and 3 junior leaders and our staff and adult leaders just returned from a great experience in Guatemala. And transformations towards leadership have begun. One of our teen junior leaders, Ray, observed the changes in the first-year participants: " I have seen shy kids change into confident Spanish speakers and loud kids change into careful listeners. It's amazing." Students learned much, but something that really resonated was the history of the civil war in Guatemala and were surprised at the part the US played in this war. One student said, "Learning about the civil war in Guatemala has shown me that there are holes in our education system. We only learn about the positive actions of the U.S. when some of the most important parts in history are when people messed up." After learning about the Guatemalan Civil War, students were reflective and willing to make small changes in their own lives and encourage others to do the same. One student said she would ask her school's U.S. history teacher to include the Guatemalan Civil War in class.
Now back in the states, participants are excited to share their experiences in Guatemala to others via social network, do more research on what they have learned, or excited to teach next year's first year participants as part of the second year program. The group of committed youth that have come together during this immersion have supported each other through struggles and growth, challenges and learning. At our final evening fiesta in Guatemala, we will celebrate the friendships that have formed and the experiences we have shared. These bonds, and the motivation to change themselves and the world around them will continue.
2016 Spring Immersion group in Guatemala