San Nicolas: Lessons in Work and Gratitude

San Nicolas: Lessons in Work and Gratitude

Doing work in the village of San Nicolas, Guatemala.

As you read in our previous story, the children and staff of Dorie’s Promise recently partnered with the community San Nicolás. Last post, our Community Outreach Director Bertha shared information about the community and her perspective. If you haven´t read it, go check it out.

This week, we want to focus on how this experience affected our kids.

Ten Hesitant Helpers

The village of San Nicolás needs a lot of help. Whether it is tending their crops, cleaning, or teaching, the list is never-ending. Completing many tasks requires many people. Knowing all the ways we could help, Bertha proposed helping in the community to some of our older kids.  Because they are helpful with the Special Mothers and little kids, she felt they would be the perfect match with the community.

Hesitantly, all the kids agreed and anxiously waited to see what the project would entail. They were unsure if they would be able to do what the community needed. Ana, Jennifer, Merary, María, Silvia, Elvis, Marcos, Ulises, Alex, and Lester would be working with Bertha.

Learning to Be Uncomfortable

The children or Dorie's Promise learned a lot during their trip to San Nicolas.

Our children were willing to help, but they were also hesitant about where they were going and what they would do. As mentioned previously, the kids also described San Nicolas as a little town comprised of small houses filled with lots of people. To their surprise, most of the people they met couldn’t afford to eat 3 meals a day.

Initially, the lack of medical care and living conditions worried our children. They could see how the conditions adversely affected people within the community. Watching all the steps necessary to get water from the river and seeing people struggle to get enough food was especially impactful on our children.

After a few visits, the kids started to look forward to their weekly trips. Even though the trip could take up to 2 hours in one direction, they had a lot of fun on the road playing music and talking with each other. They were always so eager to get there and start helping right away. Each week, the girls went one day and the boys went another.

One of their favorite parts was getting to know the amazing people in San Nicolás. Humble and kind, our kids felt like the people were full of God and his love. Although they lacked things like education, water, and food, they were extremely happy with the little they had. The only thing they needed was their families.

Enjoying Their Work

Helping with the chicken in San Nicolas.

With so many needs, our kids did a little bit of everything. Mostly, they helped residents with the daily tasks that were the most difficult for them. Many times, they worked in the vegetable gardens, cleaned the animal areas, and helped feed the chickens and pigs.

On several occasions, they also served lunch. One time, some volunteers took food for a community meal. Imagine food for 300 families. Their favorite part was seeing how excited all the little kids were when they received a hot meal.

Even though it was a lot of hard work, the kids enjoyed changing their normal routines and felt fulfilled with the work they did. Getting to play with the local children and talking about God were bonuses.

Our kids learned how to plant crops, catch fish from the river, and many more things they wouldn’t otherwise know. However, what they learned the most was humility and appreciation – wherever you are, having as little or as much as you have, God is the way to find strength and happiness. Our kids are eager to visit and help in San Nicolas again.

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