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Hola from Solola

Posted by Erica Graff on Monday, May 13, 2013

Hola! Estoy escribiendo de la casa de Manna en Solola, Guatemala. Hi! I am writing to you from the Manna Project International house in Solola, Guatemala. I arrived on Saturday morning and have spent the past few days getting oriented. Solola is about 3 hours from Guatemala City. We live in Solola, work in a town called Chaquiya, and we ‘play’ in a town called Pana, which is on the lake.

There are seven volunteers and we work with four program directors. Coincidentally, we are all girls. This has actually been really nice. We are all drama free and everyone is pretty clean and helpful with house chores. Also, most of the girls like to cook, so I have been taking careful notes in hopes of absorbing some of their skills.

Manna is an organization that focuses on holistic community development. So, we plan programs that enrich the communities in all aspects ranging from English classes to art classes. I didn’t realize that how much planning goes into each program. And then, after we spend hours planning, we get to the programs and we have to re-plan on the spot because things rarely go according to plan.

My first program was a Women’s Computer Class at one of the schools. I actually ended up giving an individual lesson to an 11-year-old girl who was taking the class on behalf of her mother, who cannot read and write. It was so cool and I feel like I learned as much as the little girl did. Tomorrow, I am leading a nutrition and gardening workshop for 4th-6th graders. They are in the process of building a garden at the school and our job is to teach the kids the importance of sustainability and unprocessed foods. I can’t wait!

Here are some pictures from my first few days here:

The market at the top of the hill.

These 'chicken buses' are old American school buses that we use to travel from Solola to Pana.

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