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Review for Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance, Long Beach, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

San Martin Chiquita is a village surrounded by small plots of terraced fields on the steep hillsides. The population is Mayan and many still wear the traditional hand woven clothing which reveal their innate love of color and pattern. There is small store in which the hand woven items can be purchased. Also there is a clinic, which was transformed into an optometrist clinic when I visited with the efficient VOSH team and their translators. Eventually they examined almost 500 people. I was teaching English to a group and one of my students was examined, returned with his glasses and wore them to read his assignment.

At the same time they initiated the use of new kitchen to provide lunch for the team, orchestrated by restaurant owners who taught the Mayan cooks the ins and outs of a modern kitchen. However, they made their tortillas by hand and served traditional Mayan food.

Everywhere in the village there was evidence of the many years of efforts made to change lives. I volunteered in the local school teaching English. The last day I taught there all the students and teachers were clearing the rooms to be painted by paint donated by Xela Aid. Soon they will introduce clean water systems to all the schools in the district.

I left energized and evolved. I would recommend Xela Aid as volunteer experience. It was my first volunteer experience and I will return to this little village where my enthusiastic students of English stole my heart.

Role:  Volunteer