I am Carmen Gauci from Mellieha, Malta. This is my 4th experience in Guatemala and for my friend Antonia Chetcuti from Mosta is her second experience. We stayed in Izabal where Fr. Anton Grech, a priest from Malta is doing his missionary work. Fr. Anton has about 27 villages which he has to constantly visit. He celebrates mass over there and the people are always waiting eagerly for him.
Our voluntary work always starts well before we go to the mission, preparing and doing fund raising. During our stay we visited many villages. It’s part of the mission and all the people always welcome us with a smile.
This time through our experience we were very impressed when we had the opportunity to visit the notorious prison of Puerto Barrios. In prison Fr. Anton celebrates mass and meets with many of the 800 or so inmates. Our first reaction was big shock. But the prisoners were so happy to meet us. We met with mercy in action.
The second experience was at the garbage village. It’s like a shanty town, with houses made of cardboxes. We prepared sandwiches for all the people who live there. We distributed sweets to all the kids and clothes.
We also had the opportunity to go on a medical mission which is organized by the parish on a monthly basis. A school was converted in a clinic and we managed to give a helping hand since many people showed up in this remote village of Livingston. Besides we used to do home visiting to the poorest and it was always an inspiritation to us share some time with them.
I am sure many people appreciated our visit. Three weeks passed by quickly. The experience remains for ever in our hearts.