Our 2008 Humanitarian Holiday was a great success, with twelve people traveling to the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala to participate in various projects


Day 1

Arriving at the airport in Guatemala after a pretty grueling travel schedule


Everyone manages to fit into the van even with all those suitcases



The first glimpse of Lake Atitlan



It really is beautiful


The suitcases are full of donated items for Mayan families

Look Mom, I made it!


Day 2


Each suitcase needs to be unpacked and the donated items sorted


There is a mountain of shoes and clothes to distribute


Shoes are especially needed


This guy gets new runners


Special gifts are given to sponsored students


And are very happily received


Samuel demonstrates how to put an Onil stove together

Everyone is keen to get their new stoves


Day 3

A team visits a student's family in Panajachel


We are welcomed into their home


The kitchen is out back


We put in our first stove


We meet new friends and find that speaking different languages really doesn't matter


And discover that some of them can really use the shoes we brought!


We visit the town of San Jorge, where we'll be doing many of our stove installations

A closer view of some of the houses in San Jorge


Day 4

Our favorite mode of transportation


A new friend


A stove team gets an impromptu tortilla making lesson

The tortillas are cooked on the family's new stove


Rain starts in the afternoon and the vendors across from our hotel cover up their stands

We discover that when it rains in Guatemala, it really pours!


Day 5

We visit San Jorge again and take a good look at the church


Not everyone has the benefit of a clean bathroom facility


But kids are kids everywhere, and they all seem to like watermelon!


There's time for some of us to play with the kids while others are installing a stove


The end of the day finds us handing out more shoes and clothing

This little fellow gets a brand new sweater and pair of shoes


Day 6

Today we give out chickens and chicken feed to needy families


People arrive with every kind of container for their chicks....


Baskets, boxes, bags...


Some lucky kids also get toys


We are able to visit the home of Elvis, Walter, and Eddy....students sponsored by Nanoose Bay Elementary School


And get to see the new house that has been built for their family


The family is very grateful and we are treated to a beautiful "thank you" speech

We finish off the day with a boat trip on the Lake


Day 7

We make the trip to Chichicastenanga, one of the largest markets in Guatemala


There's lots to see and buy.....and it's all sooooo cheap!


Corn of all kinds is for sale

It's the staple of the Mayan diet


Day 8

We get a lesson on preparing a typical Mayan meal


First, we make a bunch of Tamales from a corn mixture wrapped in corn husks


Then we learn how to make tortillas.....it's not that easy!


Tomatoes are roasted on the stove and will soon be turned into salsa


The soup is a from a recipe reserved for special occasions


Plantains are fried to a golden brown and then sprinkled with sugar


There's no doubt that the best part of the day is finally sitting down to eat the meal we prepared

It's Glendy's sixteenth birthday, and the group all pitches in to buy her this beautiful traditional outfit


Day 9

We visit a small school in the village of Tierra Linda


And hand out much needed school supplies to the students


Everyone gets a pen or pencil


And they are grateful even for such a small gift


We finish the day off installing a couple of stoves and visiting

All that work can make you pretty tired!


Day 10

The girls start the day by dressing up in traditional costumes


Then on to our last visit to San Jorge to deliver food and corn to a needy family


This gentleman is wearing the traditional Mayan costume for men


We also get to check up on the repair of a house of one of our sponsored students


Then we say goodbye to Panajachel and the Lake Atitlan area....

....and hello to Antigua


Day 11

This day starts with a drive to Pacaya Volcano

Then of course, there's the hike up...


......and up.....


....and up!


But it's worth it when you get to stand this close to molten lava

So close, the bottom of our shoes were getting hot!


The end of the hike

Following this day, we all went our separate ways. Some went on to the ruins of Tekal, others went to the Cahabon River, and still others to Guatemala City and a plane home. A really wonderful time was had by everyone.