YouthMission
A group of youth and adults from St. Paul’s are going on a mission trip to Guatemala to build fuel efficient stoves in homes. The stoves will help decrease lung infections. We will play with children, participate in an arts program and hopefully plant trees to help stave off deforestation! If you have been wanting something specific to help with, this might be what you are looking for
Follow the adventures of youth mission team here:

July 3rd, 2015 – Day 7

Travels, Amazing Place and Heading Home

We left for Antigua today. Along the way we stopped at a Mayan ruin city called Iximche. It was a peaceful place.  Then we drove into beauIMG_2321tiful Antigua. We checked into a quaint adorable hotel called Posada de Los Bucaros. We visited old churches, went to markets, walked around central park and another chocolate store…we plan to all be tucked in for 5 hours or so before heading out at 2:30 am to begin our return trip…back into our families arms..back into be1E3R41yxx8B7oMxvoBYvvHZFdd0bRRX_WT3l80Ph60Q=.F2autiful Montana..but will forever hold Guatemala and the people here in our hearts.

July 2nd, 2015 – Day 6

Planting Trees, Dancing, and Changing Lives.

Today we went back into the community that we have been working in to plant trees. The tress will be used as firewood for the 8 stoves that we just built this week. The women of the community surprised us ladies by dressing us in tradition Mayan attire. We said our goodbyes and headed to a natural hot springs. The view was gorgeous, absurdly gorgeous. Before we headed back to the casa we bought some flowers and cake for one of the kitchen ladies who was celebrating a birthday. After dinner we took a salsa lesson, that was a lot of fun. Overall it was a very fun day.

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July 1st, 2015 – Day 5

Soccer, School, and Concern.

WiD8v36G5rIvW2eBxV-_si0K-linq6kpfOPgnRhNq50=.F2We began our day at a school in a rural community just up the road from where we were building stoves.  The children were anxiously awaiting our arrival..standing at the gates peaking through and waving at us.  We played lots, did some art work, met the teachers and principals and had a grand time.  We had lunch back in the community where we are building the stoves and finished up all 8 stoves!  What an accomplishment fMlnzb-9-USPcPmRExHYuLFaKN5e1xk4akSL62cA99dE=.F2or us and an enormous sense of joy for the women and their families.  We ended the afternoon with a game of soccer with many of the children in that community and drove back to Xyla.  We convinced Juliana our wonderful interpreter to take us to the local chocolate store…what a treat! Bananas, coconut, pineapples dipped in chocolate and various other varieties.  We had dinner and visited about our day and then watched a presentation about mining in Guatemala, which troubled many of our hearts.  We head to sleep tonight knowing that more adventures await tomorrow and grateful for all of you there..thinking of us and holding us close in thoughts and prayers

June 30th, 2015 – Day 4

Building Relationships – Building Stoves P1013185

IMG_2166Today we started with our amazing breakfast which was pancakes, fruit, and yogurt. After breakfast we started our trip to the village that we are working in! We continued building relationships and long lasting memories with the native people. They are so generous and considerate to us. We worked for a few hours and ate lunch, then we worked until the stoves were finished! When we were done, we played with the the kids, took many pictures, and gave hugs. Many of us cried knowing that we had to leave soon. We left the village and drove to Xayla where we have been staying. When we got back we took a walk to the central park, and walked to the AMA building and learned how to weave! Paula taught us a few weaving techniques, then we went to the local shop. The women that work at AMA weave scarves, skirts, bags, etc. We went to the shop and bought some things that the women made! We walked back to the retreat center and ate dinner and got ready for the next adventure!!!

June 29th, 2015 – Day 3

Cultural Realities

After a delicious breakfast of fried plantains, toast, cream of wheat cereal, and eggs we headed to AMA headquarters to participate in a Mayan ceremony. It was performed with a Mayan professor who’s grandfather was actually put in jail for practicing their religion. It was powerful, cleansing, refreshing, healing….deeply moving.

P1013128We spent some time in a rural village today where we were greeted with hugs and warm smiles, by beautiful Mayan women and bashful, curious children. The women receiving the stoves gave us flowers as a sign on respect and thanksgiving. We divided into groups of three and began building 6 stoves today. We will finish those stoves tomorrow for sure! Most of the homes have only one room, anP1013152d most of the floors are dirt…while the material things are few there is no shortage of abundant joy here. Playing soccer and laughing with children, breathtaking mountains to see and friendships being made. We are very tired tonight, and are very much looking forward to a refreshing nights sleep. Love to all of you!

June 28th, 2015 – Day 2

People, Places, Volcanoes, Coffee and Tortilla Making

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This is one of the volcanoes around Lake Atilan, named San Juan.

We started the day with a boat ride across Lake Atilan to San Juan to visit a coffee plantation.  There we toured around the plantation and went back to the main building to have lunch, where we got to try some of the coffee that had been produced on the plantation.  We then took a bus to Quetzaltinango or as the locals know it, Xela (Shayla).  Here we are staying at a guest house (Posada de Altiplano), where we had the chance to make tortillas and had an amazing dinner.

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We all got the chance to make tortillas for dinner (difficult to make, however Romelia was an expert)

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The mission team with our guide, Myra. this was taken when we were looking towards the lake.

June 27th, 2015 – Day 1

Travels, Bumps, and Arrivals

P1013003 A few bumps along the way..but nothing God couldn’t iron out. Catching naps here and there singing birthday to our “Silly” Sealey- it’s her new nickname from Starbucks in Mexico City!  Met our driver “ Tillo” and our guides and new friends Lupe’ and Mayre.  Those who we have met have been warm and kind and wonderful in so many ways.  AP1013024fter 24hours of travel, we are checked into Kakchiquel Hotel in Panajachel. We took a picture of some beautiful flowers along the way and a picture of Lake Panajachel, which is just down the hill from our hotel!   This portion of Guatemala is lush and green and beautiful We love and miss you all! Sleep will refresh us and prepare us for the adventure ahead.  Thanks for your love and prayers..the Guatemala Mission trip 2015!