Posted by Pablo Castaneda on


You might think in a coffee plantation we would ONLY be talking about coffee, but when the heart is in the right place, it goes beyond that. You can touch people's lives! Thank You Belmont Students for your love for others, never ever forget you can change lives for good.

A small city, Antigua, was full of people with a sincere heart and a big smile. everywhere I went, people greeted me with a smile; Everywhere I went, a wave of laughter filled the air. However, behind those smiles and laughters, people were screaming in pain. People in Guatemala need future/present healthcare workers like us to treat the pain and suffering medically and spiritually so that these people can spread their smiles and laughters with others. Hanna Lee

I immersed myself into a country and community where access to even the simplest things for me are not there (healthcare, clean water, good education, etc.). We are all created equal in God's eyes and we are meant to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. The people we saw where some of the happiest people despite their ailments and figuring out when their next meal was. Trips like this continuously ignite the fire in my soul to not just help others, but empower them so that we become a world based on equity and not solely on equality. I am so blessed to have been a part of this team. Guatemala has been one of many experiences like this (I hope)! Kristina Mertz

Some of the best rewards in life have no price tag. I made new friends. I felt my faith renewed. I felt inspired to be a better student, a better healthcare provider, and a better man. Jon Ashton.

I thought I was going on this trip to serve and help the people of Guatemala, but it was more so the other way around. My eyes were opened to another world. I now realize that there is an alarming gap in health care in our world when two countries can be receiving such polar opposite care and I am now moved to do something about it. I only pray that the fire remains in all of our hearts. I also better understand and appreciate other professions like nursing, pharmacy, and social work thanks to all you beautiful people. I also understand now that we are not the "rich" ones.. the people of Guatemala have little money but they are truly rich and I want to live simply like them. Thank you Pabs Castanheda for showing us the ripple effect of one incredible man and permanently impacting us! Lexi Hardiek.

For me this trip was definitely God kicking me in the butt and reminding me who I really am and why he put me on this earth in the place that I am right now. It's so easy to lose sight of who we are in Him among all the lies of this world and its even hard to realize it and gain that insight back. But this trip has reminded me who I am in Him. It has shown me that when a group of people, who surrender to his plan, come together, they can do things that no human imagination could ever think possible. It also great to know that their are great people out there who want to be challenged and do what the Lord has called them to do. I feel the people of Antigua gave back more to me than I ever gave them and for that I am very grateful and look forward to serving them again next time. Megan Philipp.

With the stressed and rushed society we live in, balancing school, social lives, extracurriculars, etc., these trips are important to bring us back to what truly matters in these professions we are training for. Human love, compassion, nurturing and kindness were all brought back to the surface for me after this trip and made me realize that at the end of the day, the test grades don't matter, but the lives we touch and the smiles we bring to people's faces are what matter the most. Piper Sharkey.

The country and the people were so welcoming and warm. I've never experienced a more gracious community. Even when we weren't able to help, they still thanked us. Also, the fact that they were praying for our team. This was the most humbling experience of my life. I'm so thankful that I got to go. It makes me want to be a better person every day. Brine Lopez.

Most of us decided to pursue our individual profession, because we wanted to make a difference. To fulfill a purpose. However, the 'business' of school has a way of making us forget that purpose. We begin treating patients, not human beings. This trip gifted me with a new perspective, where I can see a fellow human being in front of me, rather than just another medical chart. Guatemala offered me a piece of it's soul, so that I could better figure out the type of person I want to be. I am eternally grateful for that. Roxy Musharrafeia.

In the short amount of time that I spent in Antigua, I feel like I was reminded of why I chose to become a nurse. It's so easy to become proud or obsessed with the title of "nurse", but after this trip, I know that my major is not for me - it's for the people I will be able to impact one day.In the short amount of time that I spent in Antigua, I feel like I was reminded of why I chose to become a nurse. It's so easy to become proud or obsessed with the title of "nurse", but after this trip, I know that my major is not for me - it's for the people I will be able to impact one day. Carolina Cerrato.

I think we can get stuck in our own little bubbles, so for me at least, this trip exposed me to a whole new world. I have been so blessed in this life, & if I have the opportunity to share that blessing with others, why wouldn't I? Abby Eichholtz.

Don't you ever stop dear AMIGOS, the journey has just begun for you, honor and value it. It is yours. Pablo Castaneda.

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