Getting ready to board their plane from Boston on April 15 are the twelve Rockland students who spent their April vacation on a service trip to Guatemala. Left to right are: Jake Leander, Dana Peck, Natalie Draicchio, Grace Oliver, Mo Youssef, Stephanie Blaney, and Matt Rocha. Front l to r: Sabrina Sprague, Olivia Soletti, Hope Geary, Saoirse McNally and Renata Batista. Courtesy photo.
The Rockland group delivered a health and hygiene handbook, written by Worthy Village to villagers. They also taught the villagers about hand washing, dental hygiene, disease transmission and prevention and healthy eating. In this photo the women are wearing the traditional Mayan traje which they weave themselves. Left to right: Amanda Lanigan, Gregory Connors, Melissa Shaughnessy, Stephanie Blaney, Renata Batista, Matt Rocha, Saoirse McNally, Hope Geary, Jake Leander, Natalie Draicchio, Grace Oliver, Dana Peck, Mo Youssef and hidden Olivia Solletti. Courtesy photo
Mo Youssef was a popular figure at a school in San Jorge, a mountain town in Guatemala, with the village children who rarely see someone that tall! photo courtesy of Mr. Connors
The Rockland High students got to relax with yoga and a fantastic view of Lake Atitlán. photo courtesy of Mrs. Shaughnessy
Rockland students got to watch Mayan Shaman Byron Rabe perform a traditional Mayan fire ceremony in ancient cave. Photo courtesy Amanda Lanigan
Grace Oliver, Natalie Draicchio and Dana Peck enjoying the fantastic view on a hike. Photo courtesy Melissa Shaugnessy.
One of the women in the village. photo courtesy of Melissa Shaughnessy
Bulldogs in Guatemala! Photo courtesy of Gregory Connors
Students got to participate in a traditional Mayan ceremony during the week in Guatemala. Mayan Shaman, Byron Rabe is shown in an ancient cave. Photo courtesy of Amanda Lanigan.
Gregory Connors and Matt Rocha model their Mayan fashions.
On a day that was supposed to be a free day Rockland High students opted to work. Here one group went to Santa Catarina where they delivered water filters to one family. Left to right are Matt Rocha, Natalie Draicchio, Renata Batista, Sabrina Sprague, Mo Youssef and Dana Peck. photo courtesy of Mr. Connors.
Rockland students preparing to teach health and hygiene classes. Photo courtesy of Melissa Shaughnessy
Saoirse McNally, Grace Oliver, Hope Geary and Dana Peck model their dresses, traditional Mayan traje, made by the women artisans of Guatemala. photo courtesy of Amanda Lanigan
This is the health and hygiene book made by Worthy Village. The Rockland students taught the villagers while they were in Guatemala. Melissa Shaughnessy photo
Olivia Solletti shows her phone to the children. Courtesy photo
Junior Stephanie Blaney enjoys a fruit drink. Courtesy photo
photos courtesy of Amanda Lanigan, Melissa Shaughnessy and Gregory Connors. Click on one to see the gallery.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Web Editor
Over April Vacation, a group of fifteen RHS students and faculty went on a service trip to Panajachel, Guatemala. 12 students along with their three chaperones: Melissa Shaughnessy, Amanda Lanigan, and Gregory Connors embarked on the trip Saturday, April 15 and returned Saturday, April 22.
On this trip, the students and staff worked along side a program called “Worthy Village” to teach impoverished families how to filter water. The program was started by 2011 RHS alumni, Julia Rayberg. Their mission is to help the people of Panajachel who rely on one lake where they wash their dishes, clothes, and even bathe making it contaminated and unsafe to drink.
In Guatemala, the students gave villagers advice and methods on good hygiene as well as supplies. They also showed the villagers how to use the water filters, provided by Worthy Village.
Rayberg wrote to the Rockland group on Facebook: “I can not express how grateful the Worthy Village team is for all your hard work here in Guatemala. I am so honored, so proud and so grateful to know you’re Rockland kids. There’s just something about Rockland.”