This past summer a group of 22 high school students, comprised of both Americans and Guatemalans, worked side by side to accomplish a common goal; improving the environment of Guatemala by planting of trees.
While in Guatemala students in GV’s yearlong Leadership Program participate in one of four work teams. Sarah Taylor was on the reforestation work team which planted 2,000 evergreen trees with the help of about ten señores.
“I chose the reforestation work team because I find it easy to bond with a group working hard physically towards a common goal.” Sarah said.
Preserving nature is something that Sarah believes to be a noble cause which is one of the reasons she chose to work on the reforestation work team. Sarah said that reforestation is important to Guatemalans because of the landslides that have killed many locals and ruined valuable farmland.
“To me reforestation is important because trees are worth so much more than money when it comes to our planets health and our personal well-being. I think people often underestimate what fresh air and exploring the wilderness does for our personal happiness.” Sarah said.
Someday Sarah would like to return to Guatemala to see if the trees that were planted during her trip grew.
“[Nature] is not emphasized in our society as one of the golden tickets to happiness and yet it is such a huge part of at least my happiness,” Sarah said. “There are mind blowing views from mountain tops and humbling moments in the middle of a raging ocean that have made me feel so small and blessed to be alive to experience it. One can find everything they are looking for in nature and I pray humanity never sees the day where we have destroyed it.” Sarah said.
The experience changed Sarah’s views and increased her appreciation for botany. Sarah said that she will probably become an avid gardener like her mother as a result of her work on the reforestation work team. Not only did this trip inspire Sarah to love nature it reinforced and renewed her fascination with nature.