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The morning after we met with Mayan Families for the first time, KK, Caira and I headed out to grab a ride with the Mayan Families team to San Jorge Preschool. Jonathon had to travel the opposite direction as us around the lake to work with our new co-op of artisans and develop our new prototype products we had designed. The girls and I grabbed our backpacks full of school supplies, our notebook to write down the kids’ information and a camera to capture the moments and then jumped into the back of the truck.
The trip was fairly quick around the lake as San Jorge was just the next town over, but the views were filled with waterfalls, the bright green jungle around is and of course the massive Lake Atitlán. We jumped out of the truck and walked through some narrow allies in the little town to get to the little school. The buildings were old and colorful–I loved the little town.
We got to the school and started coordinating with Mayan Families and the teachers on how we were going to talk to each kid individually. The interesting aspect of giving around Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, that we had never experienced before, was that some of the kids didn’t even speak Spanish.
Many of them were only familiar with their native Mayan language, so we needed to enlist the help of one of the teachers to translate our Spanish questions into Mayan so that the cute little ones would be able to answer.
This language barrier is actually pretty common around the Lake and is an issue that Mayan Families is trying to address by making sure the kids in their schools learn Spanish. Knowing how to speak Spanish opens significantly more financial opportunities for them and their families, so it’s a very important thing to learn.
Once we coordinated with the ladies, they began bringing out the kids in school one by one to the doorway where we all greeted them with big smiles. Caira asked the kids the usual LOOTB questions for their profile, I gave them each a notebook & pencil and then KK took their photos (she actually took all of the photos in this article!). It was a perfect system and the kids could not have been cuter or more excited about receiving their stuff.
We gave to as many children as possible and then headed over to the Mayan Families elderly home to help serve the elderly Mayan people of the town a meal. The family culture in Guatemala often has the grandparents living at home with their grandkids, so several grandkids would come into the center to grab the meal for their grandma or grandpa and bring it back to them at home. It was very sweet and touched us all to see the grandkids helping their grandparents out so much.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Panajachel. We had a wonderful time, once again, with the Mayan Families team and were looking forward to the next preschool we were going to join them at a few days later. We all went home to meet Jonathon and get to work on the computer. Life Out of the Box was growing at a rapid pace and so were we.