Planting Seeds

The youth of Pines Presbyterian church arrived not knowing what to expect.  They knew that they would be working on a reforestation project, trying to bring back the forested area that was burned during the war, trying to smoke out the guerilla forces (and innocent villagers). Beyond that, it was all going to be a surprise.

When we heard that Solome, the project leader from Diaconia (the social outreach arm of the national church), had purchased 15,000 small bags in which to plant individual seedlings, we knew that we would NEVER get the work done in our three short days in the village.  Still, we worked as hard as we could at 10,000 feet, trying to catch our breath as we hauled dirt, sand and mulch up and down dangerous mountain slopes.  Here, there is no Home Depot truck that delivers bags of mixed soil.  Instead, you find the stuff nestled on the mountainside, dig it up, put it in heavy duty feed sacks, and slug it on your back to the work site.

Though we didn't plant 15,000 trees, we DID build a fence, mix a ton of soil, and filled a few hundred seedling bags to get the project off to a good start.  However, the most important job of all was building relationships with the people of San Carlos, working side-by-side to better the community.  The youth and their sponsors were touched deeply by the people they met, and learned a lot about living in solidarity with the poor.  It's a trip the Guatemalans and the youth from Pines won't soon forget.  Just a small seed planted that we hope gives fruit for a lifetime. 

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