Traveler Stories


Pablo’s Story

I got all the way down to the ground and met the kids eye to eye.

Guatemala 2024

Hola! My first trip through Church of the Nativity and The 410 Bridge was in April 2024 to Vista Hermosa, Guatemala. I was part of the first full team trip to Vista Hermosa and expected the trip to be an eye opening experience on the way of life for those living in Guatemala. It was definitely that, but so much more. The days were long and full of work but so very spiritually rewarding. God was present in so many ways, in fact everywhere. You could see God so much in the lives of the people in the community. They all were filled with so much love, gratitude and faith. So much that I would say only Jesus himself could have that much in him. No matter how physically poor they were, they were rich in the faith and the Holy Spirit. 

One of just the many impactful moments I experienced, would be the first day we spent at one of the two community schools we were working at during the week. When we arrived some of the classes were still taking place, but you could see the children start whispering to each other about our presence there. Even with some whispering and curious looks, the students remained extremely respectful and more attentive than I have seen in local schools in our area. When the teacher switched from teaching to introducing us and allowed the students to say hi to us, the kids immediately ran up to our group and were giving us the biggest hugs with huge smiles on their faces. I, being 6’5” immediately saw the size difference and got all the way down to the ground to meet the kids eye to eye. You could tell they loved this gesture and became even more opened up to me. 

Another impactful moment during that week was the day we spent with Señora Ampora at her home. Her home was physically one of the poorest homes we saw during our home visits, built into the side of a mountain with walls and floors made of packed dirt, mud and brick. However, she was so humbled and grateful for our visit and so proud to show us her home and work. While at her home, we assisted her in making baked sweet bread. She makes more than 200 small loaves of bread every other week to assist in generating income for her family, but also providing the community with a very much needed food item. She loved teaching us how to properly knead the dough and form the small balls of dough to make the loaves of bread and enjoyed more than a few small chuckles at our trouble doing so. While we were working, Señora Ampora’s two sons came home from school for the day. Her one son, Rodolfo was disabled, but due to help from The 410 Bridge and their partners, Señora Ampora can send her son to a physical therapy clinic once a month which has helped him to learn how to walk and continue to improve his mobility issues. She reminded me so much of my own mother and brother, someone who had little money, but adjusted what she did as a career to do what was needed for her family, especially a disabled son. 

A final impactful moment, among so many, was visiting the community health clinic and meeting the nurses who work there. These nurses serve the community, traveling via motorcycle on rocky, unpaved roads from their homes 40 mins away to the community and on house calls when needed. They keep track of everyone in the community and if they do not hear from a community member for some time, they travel to their home to find out what is wrong with them. When a landslide, pushed their health clinic down the side of a cliff, they along with a doctor in the area, pushed and pushed the community for a new clinic. Understanding the importance of the clinic to the community, the entire community came together to assist in purchasing land for a new clinic location and building so that the nurse’s important work can continue.