Helping where help is needed. San Miguel, Guatemala.

Wow! What an amazing day! We spent the day working with an organization (Clubhouse Guatemala), that we have had the privilege to be with before in Guatemala. This morning started with making rebar ladders for the foundation of a new bathroom, for a single mom. She lives in a village between Antigua,and Guatemala City called San Miguel.

Catching a ride to the house!
Wire tying the rebar ladders together to reinforce the walls
Still making ladders!
Because the house was not on a road, the metal sheeting was a make-shift slide to drop the supplies down from the road above.
Waiting in line to wash before lunch.
Waiting for patiently for us to bring them their lunches.

Then the fun began! This afternoon was feeding about 80 kids, VBS, and plain outright horse playing. The kids warmed up to us quickly. I think the horseback rides and “slaps” games won them over.

Making crafts!
Transportation to the village.

Bernard and I were flat worn out after giving countless rides on our backs, galloping around the room,while the other kids hung on us, waiting their turn.Then was time for the singing, with full body motion,further wearing us out! After that? Football! (Soccer)  Angela immediately made a new friend, and they were inseparable.  Lucy made presents of all of her art projects at at the end of the week gave Angela a full page decorated letter!

It was an exhausting day, but so much fun Interacting with the kids,and seeing them being exposed to a Christian atmosphere.This is such a loving organization, that truly cares for the villages and people they work with. We decided to take a day off and then went back for more!

The addition on a house that is being built for a family in San Miguel Guatemala is making great progress. A team from Canada was at the Clubhouse Guatemala Mission House for a week, working on it. We happily joined in. We were able to work along side one of the local Mason’s, chipping concrete, building metal ladders for the wall, and laying cinder block walls. I really enjoyed the hands on experience learning to mix the mortar and concrete, level each layer, and lay the blocks. Using what felt like antiquated tools, we experienced what daily life as a mason is like in Guatemala.  Other interesting tools were a plumb line, that consisted of string and two wooden dowl-like pieces.I did add my “power tool” to the mix, a Ryobi reciprocating saw, to cut the metal. 

The most fun tool was a thick machete that was used to score blocks, and ultimately cut them to size.

I feel more every day, that the world is made up of good people, only tainted by a minority of the bad. Everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have the ability to be happy, live life, and have basic shelter and food. I love that the Clubhouse Guatemala, offers these exact things to so many local villagers, all the while sharing the love of Christ with each one, so they can be eternally happy and saved.

When you know you are in the right place at the right time, it is so peaceful and exciting! So much world to cover, I can’t wait to see the rest!

Castillo de San Felipe is not the Castle we Expected!

One thing I love about traveling, is spontaneity. If you allow yourself to veer off course and explore the unknown, it is common to be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Yesterday, was another one of those incidences. We had heard about a Castillo (castle) near where we were staying, overlooking the water in Rio Dulce. We drove through some narrow streets, past curious locals, until we found a place to park the trucks. 

We walked the grounds, admiring the beauty of the trees, flowers, and views of the water. Fisherman slowly trolled by with their nets loaded down.

Castillo de San Felipe is located on Lake Izabel and was built in 1644 and was still used well into the 18th century! It is a Spanish Colonial Fort with direct access to the Caribbean Sea & was used by the Spanish for several centuries, during which time it was destroyed and looted several times by pirates.  was built to protect the port of San Antonio de las Bodegas on the south shore of Lake Izabal from frequent pirate attacks,[10] mostly by English pirates.[2] After nightfall, passage along the river into the lake was blocked by a large chain that crossed from the fort to the far bank.
The first appearance of the castle, didn’t seem overly impressive. It was a massive Stone walled complex. As we approached, though, it was surprising to see the draw bridge and mote leading into the wall.
The architecture was intriguing. I loved the arched doorways,and maze like floor plan. Each room led to another series of rooms, until we reached some stairs that led to the terrace.
From there the views were stunning, with the breeze blowing, sunshine beaming. What a place this must have been in it’s heyday (1600s).
We spent an hour or 2 exploring, glad that we ventured off our route to see what was around us.