The week of June 17-24, 2010 was the first trip by Holy Sepulcher Church to visit San Bernardino School in Patzun, Guatemala. It was an awesome trip for the 5 of us. Two seasoned travelers had been to Patzun many times over the years and were our Spanish-speakers and interpreters…Thanks so much Phil and Bob! Our experience was much more than we expected in just 1 week. We visited with the children of the school, attended many Masses at the church in Patzun, delivered clothing donations to outlying villages hit hard by flooding from the recent tropical storm, saw true poverty first-hand, met with a school family to acquire handwoven items for our fair trade market, visited the town market and “supermarket” (not like here!), took delivery of 50 large water filters for the school and prepared them for use, attended 2 special fiestas of the school – Father’s Day and Teacher’s Day, and enjoyed delicious meals with the Franciscan Sisters who are such great leaders of the school. The friendliness of the people in Patzun is amazing!
We all came back touched by what we saw and even more sure that everything we are doing to support the school is greatly needed and is truly appreciated. Their needs are so basic compared to the luxuries we enjoy in our daily lives so it is not difficult to extend our generous hand to them in hopes that getting a good education, having access to clean water and adequate food, and giving them the tools to make a decent wage will allow them to escape poverty!
We came home with over 800 pictures of Patzun…so we are working on putting them together with a brief narrative so we can share them with all of you. Look for the pictures to arrive on this website by the end of July. We are preparing presentations for our Mission Group Meeting, the Rotary and for a weekend of Masses at Holy Sepulcher.
You can continue your support of Patzun with our upcoming Hoagie Sale. Paid orders are due July 25th with pickup the following weekend, July 31/Aug 1. You can order hoagies for $6 – Italian, Turkey, Pizza Hoagies. Apple Dumplings are $4 each.
Beyond that, our Fair Trade Market will be November 13th so mark your calendar. Along with our supplier from last year, we will have woven items, baskets and other items made in Guatemala that we brought back with us. Extra special will be the items being specially woven for us by a family with children that attend San Bernardino School. We are trying to find unique ways to help many people in Patzun – so if we buy items from artisans of San Bernardino School and sell them at our Fair Trade Market with the proceeds going to San Bernardino School, we have helped both the family and the school..it’s a WIN/WIN situation.
I hope that as you read this message, your heart is being tugged. That’s your sign to somehow become involved in the support of Patzun. There are small and large ways that many people can help. Consider attending our meeting on July 25th at 7pm in the Church Conference Room to check us out…no commitment necessary…just an open mind and heart.
And always….keep the families of Patzun and San Bernardino School in particular in your prayers!