Each year HOPE’S IN organizes volunteers who travel to Guatemala City to work in the Garbage Dump Community for one of two weeks in August. Volunteers help build homes, work in the medical clinic and interact with the families living very challenging conditions.
This annual trip has engaged over 100 people from the 60010 community who have either traveled alone or with their families to help make a difference in the lives of people living in the community in and around the Guatemala City garbage dump which is the biggest landfill in Central America. Most volunteers who have been on the trip share that they are permanently changed by their experience.
“The 2016 Hope's In trip to the Guatemala City dump completely changed
my outlook on life and more specifically, how I view being fortunate
and not taking anything for granted. Seeing poverty in its truest
form while men, women, and children found happiness in the smallest
things in life, opened my eyes to a lifestyle that changed how I go
about my daily life. It made me realize how unimportant the majority
of the things I worry about really are. I try to remind myself every
day to live life simpler and to be happy and grateful for everything I
am blessed with,” shared Barrington High School Senior Jack Moran.
“The Hope's In trip taught me to find happiness in the small things in
life and to stop complaining about irrelevant problems because there
is a bigger picture to everything we do.”
HOPE'S IN projects are done through a partnership with the organization Potter’s House Association. During the volunteer’s week in Guatemala, Hope’s In helps deepen the experience through shared group communications and perspectives. Many teen volunteers have used what they learn from the trips to help local community organizations and have stepped up to leadership positions with Hope’s In and other organizations. Hope’s In ‘hopes’ to development the next generation of humanitarian leaders from those who get involved with the organization.
“My trip to Guatemala last summer was one of the most moving
experiences of my life. I was in awe of the poverty that filled the
garbage dump community, yet was amazed at how much hope and joy these
families had. The people we met in Guatemala inspired me to be more
compassionate and taught me how to be a light in the darkest places,”
Anabelle Adams, a student at Ohio State said. “I am so grateful I got
to be a part of such an incredible organization and was able to make
an impact on the lives of the treasures.”