Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Service Club volunteers in Guatemala
The PW Service Club from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) recently traveled to Guatemala to make a difference in the lives of children in the city of Tecpán. The day after school let out for the summer, nine members of the club along with PWHS teachers Krystyn Satko and Katy Geare, boarded a plane to Central America for the ten-day volunteering trip.
“I decided to go on this trip because I love kids and want to travel when I’m older,” said Brooke Balkiewicz, a PWHS junior. “I figured that this trip was the best of both worlds. Going to Guatemala was the best experience of my life.”
During the week, the club volunteered at one of the city’s 90 public schools. They taught English to students who were in kindergarten through sixth grade and tiled an outdoor water station at the school.
“It was so rewarding to know that I was both teaching and making connections with the kids simply because I was able to speak a little bit of their language,” said Maggie Coyle, a senior who used the Spanish that she learned at PWHS to communicate with the children. “Leaving the school on our last day was very difficult, because we formed such strong bonds with all of the students. They were so grateful for our efforts, and we were so touched by the generosity and kindness of their community. It was hard to leave that behind.”
In addition to volunteering at the school during the week, the PW Service Club members also experienced “cultural immersion” excursions to town, markets, a cattle farm, a local potter and Iximché, a local site of Mayan ruins.
The club plans to return to Guatemala in July 2019.