Guatemala Volcano, Tropical Storm Delay NWU Students' Return Home
They first planned a service trip to Thailand this summer but political unrest in that country forced members of Nebraska Wesleyan’s Global Service Learning to find another project.
Then the opportunity came to help build houses for poor families in Guatemala.
This 10-day trip had its challenges too. On Thursday, May 27, Volcano Pacaya (located 25 miles south of Guatemala City) erupted, spewing rocks and ash all over Guatemala City and nearby towns, causing the international airport to close.
As if that wasn’t enough, Tropical Storm Agatha landed on Guatemala’s shores, causing mudslides, damaged roads, evacuations, and 184 deaths.
Now eight members of Global Service Learning are staying with host families while they wait to come home.
The students left May 21 to volunteer with Constru Casa in Antigua, Guatemala. The nonprofit organization provides basic housing to families living in extreme poverty. Beneficiary families participate in construction of their home and pay back one-fourth of the total cost of the house over four years.
Wesleyan’s Global Service Learning members assisted with the housing construction.
Global Service Learning member and NWU senior Kaycie Rupp said although their return home has been delayed, the students are safe and continuing work on the their service project.
Guatemala’s international airport reopened Tuesday, June 2 after five days. The students hope to return to Nebraska on Friday, June 4.