In February, seven students and their faculty advisor, from St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS), travelled to Guatemala to gain a deeper understanding of the political climate, history, its respective effects, and current reparation efforts within the country. The group was facilitated by BTS and their coordinators, Lisa Rankin and Stacey Gomez. Beginning in Guatemala City, the students travelled by van to Rabinal, by boat to Rio Negro, and a winding road journey to San Lucas Toliman on Lake Atitlan. The adventurers were educated first about the genocide, massacres, civil war, and the hardships, followed by the combating operations of IMAP, the CCDA, and more. All students completed the trip feeling extremely moved and inspired, prepared to continue on in their own lives forever changed by the Guatemalan people, their hope, and their resilience.
Here are some of the reflections shared by students:
“Throughout the trip, I was able to witness the strong acts, not only of the Guatemalan people, but of those such as Lisa Rankin, a young woman from a small town making a large and meaningful difference on a global scale.” Chrystina Acker, Student
“It’s shocking that in order for me to appreciate the power of education and community, I had to travel to a different continent. Guatemala taught me many life lessons that I brought back to my daily life here in Canada.” Riona O’Maonaigh, Student
Right: StFX students and faculty advisor on final day of delegation trip to Guatemala (San Lucas Toliman)