August 2012 Bottle School Trip

“[This trip] made me realize how blessed I am to have the life I have when I saw how little the people in Los Cerritos [Guatemala] have and all the hardships they have to endure. I was deeply touched by the love these people have for others and how they are happy without having even the basic necessities of life that we take for granted. It made me feel good to think that I helped them in some small way…I learned that when you go out of your comfort zone you are able to grow a lot! I was given a great deal of good advice from others on the trip that helped me to identify things in my life that I need to change. I also learned that it is possible to connect with others and have an effect on their lives even when you do not speak the same language. I was totally impressed by the beautiful landscapes and exquisite craftsmanship of the people. I was overwhelmed by the loving, welcoming attitude of the people! their generosity in opening up their homes to us and sharing their personal stories was very touching. It was very enlightening to see how the families lived and it made me very grateful for what I have.”

“It showed me how a small group can come together and make a big difference. I actually thought that we would be working a lot more [physical] work, but I can see that exploring/learning about the country was a part of the experience and understanding [Guatemala] as a whole.”

“Before this trip, I wasnt exactly the person I wanted to be, and this experience has helped me move forward to becoming a better, good-hearted person.”

“It gave me the opportunity to bring a small contribution to a project that will enhance the and improve the life of [Guatemalan] children.”

“[To my friends and family]: you have to go! The construction aspect of it is calming for the mind, body, and soul, the food is excellent and the people are fantastic!”

“I had an amazing time especially with the children. This trip was really an eye-opening experience. I know [now] absolutely that I can do more to make a difference.”

“This experience was meaningful as it educated me on immigration. It also humbled me to see how the villages run, how families work and how happy everyone is. I learned that I can go without most luxuries that I have at home. I also learned to be more open to traditions and more patient with other people. [To friends and family] that they must go and bring as many people as they can. [This trip] really is life changing.”