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Volunteers use their Engineering skills for humanitarian purposes

Karima Saddedine volunteered for ATC in Guatemala in 2018 during three months of service in rural communities and in the office. Here's what she had to say about it.

I spent a week in the Community in Quixaya, a beautiful sustainable farming community half an hour from the lake Atitlan. My task was to support the women cooperative B`ATZ K`UXYA` with the two solar dehydrators they are using to dry fruits medicinal herbal teas, cookies and simple mixed dried fruit for snacking. Rosie and Marilena, two very lovely members of the SEA-team, brought me to the community and introduced me to the women.  

In the following days the women and I did some maintenance work on the dehydrators, try to develop a routine how to control the temperature in the food dryers, experimented with new recipes for delicious granola bars and healthy fruit cookies and got started with the packaging and labeling for the later sale of the dried products. 

During my time in Quixaya I stayed with two different families. This gave me the unique opportunity to gain an insight into the traditional life of a

Guatemalan family. They made me feel like a family member, I enjoyed having fresh and organic meals with them and they taught me how to make tortillas. I had fun playing with kids from the village at the river, talking with the grandparents in the shade of the tree and just fell in love with this beautiful and very green area.

 I am very thankful for unforgettable time in Quixaya!

by Monika Goforth

Executive Director

MA Social Change and Development, Food Security