Guatemala Mission, MARCH, 2018

St. Luke's March, 2018, construction mission trip to Guatemala is from March 17 to March 25. We will be working with local people to build a home for a family in the village of Xatinap Quinto near Santa Cruz. Our previous construction mission trips were in March, 2005, March, 2006, March, 2007, March, 2008, March, 2009, March, 2010, March, 2011, March, 2012, March, 2013, March, 2014, March, 2015, April, 2016. and March, 2017. Videos of many of these trips are available here. Most of the population there is indigenous Mayan. The area was especially hard-hit by massacres and destruction of villages during the years of "La Violencia", guerrilla rebellion and army repression which ended just recently in 1996. We will be spending time with children in a Bible school program and with students that various team members sponsor. Look here for the itinerary. See for more details about mission trips to Guatemala.

Click on any image below to see a larger version.

March 17, 2018

And we're off to Guatemala!



13 of our 15 missioners, at the Houston airport. (Ken Fong is taking the photo, and Glenn Hertzler is already in Guatemala)


Loading the Chicken Bus at the Guatemala airport to go to Antigua, our stop for the night




March 18, 2017

We took a "chicken bus" from Antigua to Chichicastenango this morning. After lunch, some of us shopped in the world-famous market, while others visited the cemetery.

In the afternoon, we visited the local Methodist church and then shopped in Ruth and Naomi's, helping local women who make crafts.



Laura Richards introducing our group to the congregation.


Bill Barnard giving the Benediction to today's service.


Shopping at Ruth and Naomi's


March 19, 2017

The road from Chichicastenango to Lemoa was blocked by protestors this morning (!?!). So instead of going to the work site, we visited Pastor Tomas's house in Paquixic. We learned a lot about the public school system, and bought some of the weavings that the family makes there.

The road block was cleared in the afternoon, so we finally made it to the work site. We met the family who will be moving into the house that we are working on. The family currently lives in a small building with a total of 15 people. Lucia, the mother, will be moving to the two-room cinder block home we are building, along with her children Sebastian, Carlos, Maria, Juan and Eimar.

The team before us had worked on the foundation. We added U-blocks, rebar and concrete, finishing the foundation.



Our team with Pastor Tomas's wife, Tomasa


Edee Worth and Lisa Kramer sifting sand to make mortar


Glenn Hertzler and Lance Willoughby adding a U-block



Sandy Teel backfilling the foundation walls


Lisa Kramer with Maria and Carlos, who are helping backfill the foundation walls


Ron Miller pushing Carlos, Maria and Eimar in a wheelbarrow



Robin Peterson filling in the U-blocks with concrete


Lisa Kramer pushing Zach Kramer in a wheelbarrow


The work site after our first afternoon of work


March 20, 2017

Several of us visited the Caserio Rosario ("cornstalk") school in the morning to take pictures of all the students (for tomorrow's Bible Camp). We were surprised by the presence of two new cinder block classrooms! Glenn Hertzler went to the Nutrition Center and worked on eliminating the air leaks above one of the bedrooms.

Most of the team worked on adding several courses of cinder blocks to the home we are building.

In the afternoon, we visited Mary Knoll Sisters Connie and Helen, and Valentina. They shared with us some of the history of the area, and the work being done at the Nutrition Center to improve the nutritional well being of children in Lemoa. We also brought many needed supplies from the US to them.

And we continued visits between individual missionaries and the students they sponsor in Guatemala.



The local government just completed two new classrooms at the Caseria Rosario School


This morning's progress at the work site


Jon Schmidt, with Carlos and Maria, built a concrete threshold for the old home



Jennifer Winterfeld staging cinder blocks


Jon Schmidt mixing mortar


Mike and Laura Richards with some of the Hope Scholarship students


March 21, 2017

We spent the morning at the Caserio Rosario ("cornstalk") school. The students and teachers conducted a short program for us, concluding with an interactive dance. Then we ran a Bible Camp for them, which went very smoothly. The indoor activities included decorating the photos of each student and coloring. The outdoor activities included soccer, stomp rockets, jump ropes, and playing with a parachute.

In the afternoon, we worked until sunset to complete the second level of U-blocks and rebar.

We continued with our student visits. The weather has been great so far, as has everyone's health.



Sandy Teel helping with photos


Lance Willoughby doing stomp rockets


The ever popular parachute



Lisa Kramer doing outdoor activities with girls


Jon Schmidt doing outdoor activities with boys


Nancy Copher helping with rebar



Lucia, the future homeowner, and her son Sebastian, helping with the mortaring


Jennifer Winterfeld and Sandy Teel putting in U blocks


Mike and Laura Richards putting in U blocks


March 22, 2017

Most of us spent the entire day at the work site today. It felt good to make so much progress, starting with filling in the U-blocks with cement, and then adding several courses of regular cinder blocks. Lucia and her son Sebastian were working with us most of the day.

A couple of us washed windows at the Sisters'. And we continued with the student visits.

The weather continues to be great. But the positive statement about everyone's health is no longer operative.



Bill Barnard leading morning devotions on the roof of our hotel


A bucket brigade filling in the U blocks with concrete


Lucia and Sebastian putting mortar between cinder blocks



Bill Barnard gently coercing a cinder block into place


Nancy Copher and Robin Peterson, who have kept us well fed at every lunch



March 23, 2017

Today was our last day working in Guatemala. We spent most of it working on the home. We've made great progress through the week. Bill Barnard led us in blessing the home for Lucia and her family.

Several of us visited the Nutrition Center in Lemoa. Valentina hosted us and described the program, which helps malnourished children in the area.

At the end of the day, we met with three women who have been sponsored through the University level by Pura Vida, plus Valentina, to hear some success stories.

Tomorrow we travel to Antigua for some R&R before we return home.

It's been a fun and productive week, making a difference here in Guatemala.



Edee Worth reading to Maria


Visiting the Nutrition Center


We had to build higher scaffolding to continue our work



Bill Barnard leading a blessing of the home


Look at the progress we made!


Meeting with Sebastiana, Valentina, Patricia and Karen