A Week in Guatemala


We returned late last night to our homes in Indianapolis, but for the past week Mission Guatemala was our home. Forgive us for being stuck between two homes as we start our week. We are not the same people that arrived in Guatemala last week. We look the same – maybe a little more sun … or fatigued from all the work, but there is something different.

Epworth Team on Lake Atitlan
We learned about Mayan and Guatemalan culture through our visits to San Antonio and San Juan. We experienced the culture through food, shopping, futbol (soccer), and a special program.

Guatemala “The Land of Eternal Spring” blooms with flowers year round
Spectacular Views are all aroudn
Mayan prayers of blessing
Church Altar in San Juan
A rope bridge for travel especially when the road is washed out by rains
Tuk Tuks are the mode of transportation in town – 5 Quetzals (745 cents) will get you anywhere
Art Galleries fill the streets of San Juan
Coffee Shops are a great place of unwind and enjoy conversation
Did we mention that the Coffee is great
Back Strap Loom is the tool for Mayan woven products
The markets are filled with colors and trinkets
The church in Panajachel
The View of Lake Atitlan in San Antonio
We worked hard – I mean really hard – as construction continued on the House of the Teacher – a needed administration building for the teachers of the district. This building will help serve and train the over 200 teachers that serve over 5000 students in the District. Many of the teachers will travel several hours by foot to attend the training that will be able to take place here. The teachers purchased the land and provided the labor to pour the roof by hand – one bucket at a time.
Emma learns to Stucco
Riley breaks up the ground to level the floor
hand mixing stucco for the walls
The work site at the start of the week
Have tools will mix concrete for free!
The mixing begins
Smoothing out the window sill with a final coat of concrete
Laying foundation blocks for the walkway
Trying not to fall in the floor as we smooth it by hand
Did I mention our fine stucco?
It is a dirty job crawling on the floor and smoothing our concrete
Stucco makes the wall look much nicer
Brian works on building a clean out trap for the septic lines
Angel confers with Umberto on the process for pouring the concrete floors
The construction work is unique to say the least. This is complicated by the use of multiple teams of people from the USA that mean well, but have limited skill. By the time the project is complete it will have taken two years and over 80 teams of volunteers. Estimated completion is early Summer 2019.
The Home of Mission Guatemala
In addition to the construction work, we had a team of volunteers that worked along side Dr John to provide a free dental clinic at the Clinic in San Andreas. They were able to see over 60 patients in four days and extract over 120 teeth.

The Dentist will be here and see you for Free

While there were tears of pain and fear, there was also an overwhelming sense of gratitude from the parents and patients. To begin to understand the need consider the words (translated) from one of the older patients, “I have has this horrible pain for several months, but when I visited the dentist in my community, the cost was far more than I could afford. Thank you for caring enough to come and make me well.”

Lake Atitlan from the hillside of San Juan
The need to come home to family, friends, and life is now joined by our need to plan a trip to return to Guatemala and the family and friends we have there.

As we each have returned with a story to share and memories to last a lifetime. Take time to ask and then listen to the stories.

On behalf of the Epworth Team,

Bethany, Emma, Leif, Riley, Nate, Natalie, John, Lucinda, Dick, Vern, Jane, Mark, Susie, Teri, Aaron, Brian, Angel, Mat, and myself

Thanks for supporting us …


If you would like to join us on our next trip … just call or email me

A Mayan Blessing

Last evening we had the opportunity to experience and learn Mayan culture from Mayan Spiritual Leader. we heard music, stories, and receive a blessing from Dom Domingo. We cappped of the evening by eating a traditional Mayan Dinner.

Our work continues today. We are learning to work as a team as we are challenged to pour concrete floors by hand, stucco walls, and lay brick.

The Dental Clinic team had 16 patients and extracted 23 teeth!

We are tired, but ready for another few days of hard work.