Our volunteers are amazing. Rather than spending their vacations with friends relaxing on a beach, going to an amusement park, or taking a long road trip, they chose to leave the comfort of their familiar surroundings and travel to a place where there is such severe poverty, unlike any they have ever witnessed. Many of our volunteers are humbled as they open up to those around them in the garbage dump community and develop relationships with those less privileged.
Testament for Change
Megan Paulet from St. Vincent College traveled to Guatemala with us, and she was deeply moved by her experience. She says,
“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into Guatemala. All I knew getting onto that plane in Pittsburgh was that I was going to be over a few hundred miles away from the people that I loved and the only life that I knew for a whole week. For a brief moment at the terminal, I considered turning back. I thought about running to the gates through which I had entered and begging my parents to take me home.
But something stopped me. Something inside of me told me to stay, and to get on that plane without looking back. I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, not only to travel to another country, but to grow stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I knew that this experience would change my life forever, and as cliché as that sounds, it is the honest to God truth. However, I had no idea just HOW greatly it would change me until after I arrived here and saw what I did and experienced what I had as well.
The wonders that lie within this tragically beautiful country are indescribable. I am simply unable to put into words the things that I have both seen and experienced over the course of these last four days. I only hope that I am forever able to carry with me the lessons that I have learned here; the memories of the people I have met, the places that I have been, and the vivid images of the things that I have seen. I know that whenever I return to Pittsburgh, my eyes will see things differently, my ears will hear things differently, my heart will love differently, and I will live my life differently.”
International Samaritan service experiences touch the hearts and minds of our volunteers to feel solidarity with the less privileged. These memories last a lifetime, shaping their view of the world and gifting them with a lifelong desire to reach out and help those less fortunate.