Prize winner Cassie Rosenfeld takes volunteer trip to Guatemala
Cassie Rosenfeld won a volunteer trip to Guatemala offered by Developing World Connections in a Study and Go Abroad facebook contest this Spring. Read about her trip …
Last May I won a trip to volunteer in San Miguel Duenas, Guatemala, with Developing World Connections. It was an experience that I will cherish forever. Not only did I make amazing friends from all across Canada and get to see a breathtakingly beautiful country, but I learned a lot of valuable life lessons, and most importantly got to make a difference in the lives of some people that really needed it.
It was really hard to see the level of poverty in Duenas contrasted to here in Canada, and sad realizing that there were so many families that needed help and no possible way to help them all. But after building a tin house for a single mother and her (soon to be) six children who had previously lived in a tiny home of fourteen people, and seeing their ecstatic reaction when they first saw their new home, I will never again be discouraged that a problem is too big. Because what we did made a real difference for that family.
My time in Guatemala truly inspired me to continue travelling, learning and volunteering, and I was especially amazed by the founder of The Open Windows Foundation in Duenas, Teresa Quinonez. She is a woman who has dedicated her life to helping her community, not only through organizing volunteer trips to Duenas, but also through setting up a library in the community to help improve education and prevent children from being destined to the poverty they had been born into. Teresa’s devotion taught me the power of a strong woman as a role-model for a community.
I could write a ten page essay describing my appreciation for this trip, because every day I spent in Guatemala came with great memories, a new life-lesson or two, a new-found sense of wonder at the culture and beauty around the world, and a deep happiness that comes from helping others. Thank you so much to Study and Go Abroad for an experience that changed my life.
As well, here is the link to the blogpost of a friend of mine, who accompanied me on the trip, describing our first day in Guatemala.