"A humbling experience"
(Members of the RMU men’s lacrosse team left Sunday for Guatemala, where they will be volunteering with an organization called Safe Passage that provides recreation, tutoring and other activities to underprivileged children.)
Yesterday was a pretty humbling experience. We started off with an hour long bus ride into Guatemala City where we saw some difficult things. The streets were very filthy, stray dogs were everywhere, and security guards with shotguns were at every corner. As a group, we felt a little out of our element. When we met Madeline, our tour guide, at our location, we immediately felt more comfotable inside the walls of safe passage. It was a sanctuary among an area of poverty. We met so many kids eager to learn and grateful for the opportunity that safe passage has given them. When the lacrosse sticks came out, the kids erupted with excitement. They were very coachable and were trying to take in as much knowledge as possible. Although we had a hard time communicating with the kids, Madeline and Lisa were there to translate and help as much as possible.
After the morning and working with the kids we were capable of seeing more ins and outs of Guatemala City. This is when reality set in for all of us. We took a journey to the local garbage dump the expanded over 40 acres. It started with a walk from our car through a grave yard full of vultures and embaumbed graves. The government seized the bodies of loved ones if the family was not able to make their yearly payment for the grave site. After walking through the grave yard we made it to an overlook that oversaw the entire landfill. Imagine trucks pouring in with trash, and hundreds of people diving in with hopes to find anything with any value to them or their families. This site was something that none of us will never forget, and an image will stick in our heads forever. It was amazing to see what people are willing to do in order to make a few bucks and support their families. This landfill is the only thing that some of these people know, and it was a shock to us that this type of work even existed. As we move on over this entire season this is an image that will only make us appriciate how lucky we really are.
We will talk to you tomorrow,