Winds of Change & SOS:
School Repairs in Guatemala

Dates: May 3 - 11th, 2019

# Volunteers: (Estimated) 20

Winds of Change Leader: Rob Scott

Location of Project: Santa Apolonia, in Guatemala

Winds of Change & Students Offering Support:
School Repairs in Guatemala
In light of continued challenges in Nicaragua we will be shifting our focus of our next Winds of Change service trip to Guatemala. This trip will be in cooperation with Students Offering Support (SOS).
Departures will be from Toronto and Ottawa.
The ceilings of the school buildings in the community Santa Apolonia, in Guatemala, are in very poor condition with holes where the ceiling and walls meet and on the roof itself. This problem is exacerbated by water leaking through the ceiling during the winter season, which lasts from May to October, when it rains heavily. The spaces in the ceiling created from the leakage have also allowed for the cold air during winter to enter the building.These conditions affect the learning and working environment for students and staff. The school board would like to build more classrooms to accommodate the growing number of students, but the need to replace the roof of the current structure is immediate. Through the installation of a new roof, the water leakage issue will be resolved, and will bring the school board one step closer to their goal of improving the conditions for the entire school.
The Junta Escolar (School Committee) is planning to have the roof replaced prior to the arrival of the SOS volunteers, so volunteers will be responsible for building a dividing wall between a current classroom and the principal’s office, painting the walls where the roof is being replaced, renovating the interior of the school, and renovating the principal’s office.

Based on the questions I have received in the past, here are few FAQs:

1) This trip is a collaboration of Students Offering Support and Winds of Change. There will be a combination of university students and non students. Families are welcome, but we suggest that kids be over the age of thirteen. Local support in country will be provided by the Seed Alliance

2) Accommodations: the trip is set up to stay as a group within the community's Pastor's house (with a basic set up of mattresses on the floor) . There may be an option to set up private accommodations at community members' homes - however, our usual approach is to keep the full group together in common facilities wherever possible. There are two bathrooms with two showers on site. There are an additional four washrooms and two more showers accessible one block away (at the educational centre). 

3) Meals will consist of rice, beans, tortillas, fruit/vegetables, and some meat.

4) Groups generally work for about 6 hours a day, for 4-5 days of the 1 week Outreach Trip.

5) Every group is overseen by a foreman during construction days and any work requiring technical training will be financed by SOS

6) You’ll have the late afternoon/evenings and two Rest Days throughout the trip to relax, explore the local area and participate in the local community.

7) During Rest Days, your group will visit the scenic Panajachel. Known for its location on, and views of Lake Atitlan, Panajachel is one of the most popular of the 11 towns surrounding Lake Atitlan. Volunteers will travel to Panajachel, tour the famous Calle Santander, and take a boat tour to San Juan La Laguna. In San Juan, they will be met by Casa del Tejido, who will provide a coffee production and textile production tour.  Casa del Tejido offers a variety of products made by the Maya artisans, using 100% cotton, natural colors, creative designs and high quality products for a fair price to support the Mayan families of San Juan la Laguna. Visit http://casadeltejidoytours.org/ for more information.

8)) The cost is typically around $2500 - $2700 per person (Airfare, accommodation, local transport and most food). There are few incidentals other than alcoholic drinks and shopping at the craft market. A portion of the amount is eligible for a charitable tax receipt. Payment will be due about a month before we travel. Hosting service trips is a key funding source for the local NGO. Note that this amount is significantly less than some of the high profile trips from organizations where a similar itinerary would start at $3300.  

9) We will have translators with us at all times, but is STRONGLY encourage you to pick up a little Spanish in advance. It helps a lot and makes things more fun. 

10) Ideally we will firm up the team by the end of March. We already have an expression of interest from several people, so please let me know if you are interested. rob@emberadvisory.com

Click here for Other trips that Winds of Change community can join with Students Offering Support: