Students provide clean water on alternative fall break trip to Guatemala


This fall break, a select group of High Point University students spent their break giving back. Traveling more than 3,000 miles in total, 11 individuals made the journey from High Point to Guatemala on a service trip.

When an HPU student gets thirsty, a quick drink of water is never far away. In Guatemala and many other countries around the world, people are too often forced to go without fresh water for drinking and cooking purposes.

The students who went on the service trip learned how to put together and install water filtration systems for families in Guatemala. These students gave numerous families access to clean water that they previously had to go without. Students made an even bigger impact during their time in Guatemala when they built and installed stoves for more than 220 families. In total, each family received roughly $300 worth of household necessities that allow for easier cooking and healthy eating habits.

“We also distributed vitamins, de-wormers, shirts, shoes, toothbrushes and toys to the families of the communities we helped,” said Alana Karpovich, one of the students from the trip.

The trip offered the students more than just the opportunity to make a positive impact on those who they assisted; they were also able to learn the Guatemalan ways of life while they were there. “Students who attended this trip had the option to assist with cooking traditional Guatemalan meals, see what a market in rural Guatemala was like, and to spend the week working as those we were serving did,” said Anna Ventrone, coordinator of residential services. “We are always sure to have students learn about the traditional garments and what the families we are serving do in their day-to-day lives.”

“It allows our students to understand what we have and to be grateful for it,” Ventrone said.

The impact the students left on those they helped in Guatemala will last even longer.

“The most rewarding part of our trip for me was one of the last days when the community gathered to pray for us and thank us for our hard work all week,” Karpovich said. “It was emotional and empowering to have a community across the world be so thankful for our dedication and positive impact on them.”

HPU offers a great deal of service and learning opportunities, but none of that matters unless students take advantage of them. The service trip to Guatemala offered Karpovich an outlook that she wishes others could enjoy as much as she did.

“I think that it is important for young adults, especially college students, to step outside their comfort zones at least once in their lives and partake in some sort of service project,” Karpovich said. “Whether that be a simple act such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, or something more advanced like traveling to different country and helping a community in need. The experience is once in a lifetime and is something that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Being able to change someone’s life and leaving a positive impact on a community is something that feels indescribable.”

Campus Chronicle
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