San Rafael Work Day 1

The Archangel Rafael, San Rafael, as he is known in the Spanish-speaking world, is the Saint of healing. Mentioned Jewish and Christian scriptures, he is a beloved saint of many which results in the use of his name in hopes of receiving even just a glimpse of his healing powers. Our team leaves the comforts and amenities of the city of Antigua in the morning where an hour commute well beyond the city limits take us into the heart of the Guatemalan countryside. There, we work with a family who is in need of (and after four years is finally receiving) their own version of a miracle of healing.

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María Josafina has dedicated of 700 hour of volunteer service to her community to earn the privilege of receiving a Constru Casa house. Beyond just providing a new home or addition to an existing residence, Constu Casa’s mission is one of creating a sustainable future in which the community as a whole can benefit from a new building. They have all families participate in the construction process of their home or center, as well as pay back a small portion of the home, both of which hope to instill a feeling of ownership in their home. But more importantly, this organization works with the family for four years after the construction of their home through workshops and informational meetings about crucial things we take for granted: personal hygiene, water purity, and safe food preparation.

 

María and her husband are parents to nine children and grandparents to that many again, all of which stay in one bedroom. We will be working on a three-room structure to provide much-needed space for this very deserving family. We began by digging- a lot. DSC_0139 (1).jpgWe prepare the ground for the foundation, and from there moved over 875 concrete blocks plus and additional 100+ foundation blocks for our next few days work. We also prepare iron rods to serve as additional support in the walls and began to cut and fit the concrete blocks for the foundation (of which we have to hand chip 90). We mixed our first batch of concrete which we left to solidify over night in our newly created foundation so we can be ready to lay some concrete block tomorrow morning.

We ended the evening by delving into a truly Latin American art- Salsa. We took a private dance class at Salsa Sensación and everyone loved it! They’re already planning a second lesson and are setting aside practice time to dance in the evenings!

We’re blessed to be here and these students are incredible. They work so hard no breaks (until I force them to take one) and are ready to do and be more. I am proud as their teacher to work along side them, and know that so are the people whom they are serving.

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