Guatemala Travelogue, December 2018

Travelogue of Fern’s visit to Guatemala for the purpose of advancing the Water for Life project for Chajmaic, Guatemala (page 5)

December 19, 2018: Visited residential Catholic school/greenhouse project today

Today Ricardo, Antonio (the agrónomo) and Fern went to the residential Catholic school (Hogar del Niño, Nuestra Señora Consoladora in Mixco, outside of Guatemala City, a Catholic boarding school, supported in part by Operation Blessing, https://www.ob.org/) to see the greenhouse project that Federico (the other agrónomo) designed for the school.
 
Most of the children were not there due to Christmas vacation, but there were two adorable, active boys (brothers).  They kept asking me to take videos of them playing!  Here, one photo bombed a photo:
In fact, this is not a high school, although they do serve some high school students.  Most of the children are grades 1-5.  It’s incredible that they are learning to grow vegetables in raised beds in a greenhouse so early in life, so as to develop a trade and to help sustain their families and their villages back home.  (The kids are from across Guatemala.)
This is the project that Federico (the same person who designed it for the school – which in a small space of 25 x 6 m can feed 400 people a day) will replicate for Chajmaic.  The fact that we already have a measurable result is so exciting to me.  This means that we can use this evidence (photos) to attract donors.

The photos here are of plants that have grown for the past three months.  The nun, Sr. María Rosa, told us that it’s a form of therapy for the children to work with the plants.  And, the two boys were asking Sr. María Rosa the names of them as we went along our tour.  

This is a video of her explaining to the young boy the name of the plant (“aselga“): https://bit.ly/2A72tlf

Aselga means Swiss chard, that epazote is a medicinal plant, and that violeta means African violet (not just a regular violet).  They sell flowers for income for the school.  The entire garden is organic.  They don’t use any preservatives.  And, Antonio plans to replicate that in Chajmaic.

It was incredible to see tiny fruit plants bearing fruit and tiny pine trees bearing pine cones – enormous for the size of the plant!  Here’s an apple tree, and attached is a photo of a pine tree (with Ricardo holding the pine cone):

There were plaques with the school’s philosophy throughout the campus.  For example:

The famous quote from Ben Franklin:

“Tell me and I’ll forget, teach me and I’ll remember, let me practice and I’ll learn.”

 

“Dime y lo olvide, enséñame y lo recuerdo, involúcrame y lo aprendo.”

And in the cafeteria:
“Hope is the richest food for the soul.”
“La esperanza es el alimiento más rico para el alma.”

And, at the entrance:
“The most beautiful human task is to be useful to the next person.”
“La obra humana más bella, es la de ser útil al prójimo.”