After much searching, we finally decided that the program that was best for us was the Young Adult Volunteer Program of the Presbyterian Church USA. They accept applicants from ages 19-30. Luckily for us (ages 31 and 34), they made an exception and let us slip under the radar.
The life change was abrupt, but it was the most enriching experience of our lives. Canton Pasac Segundo became our hometown - a tiny mountain pueblo where many people spoke only Quiche, an ancient mayan language. The highlight of our year was living with Martin Sop Baten, his wife Graciela Sam Yac de Sop, and their six children. They graciously added us to the fold, children numbers seven and eight, ages 31 and 34. The family lived on about $300 each month. Our home for the year was a 15’ x 15’, 45-year-old adobe room. Our bathroom was an outside latrine. We bathed outdoors twice per week by burning our garbage and wood to heat a large pot of water. Our host mother hand-prepared three meals a day on a wood-burning stove.
As for our jobs, Scott
worked with 25 indigenous Presbyterian churches in the highlands of
Guatemala, teaching eglish, music, leadership, and human relations.
Gabby worked with a Presbyterian organization, PRESGOV, planning
mission trips for church groups from the United States.
Her role was to accompany these groups, translating, coordinating
projects with indigenous community leaders, and leading reflections and