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Duluthians Lend A Helping Hand In Guatemala

A group of Duluthians spent eight days in Guatemala learning about the culture while lending a helping hand. "Common Hope," a non–profit organization aims to educate children while empowering their families.
/ Source: KBJR-TV

A group of Duluthians spent eight days in Guatemala learning about the culture while lending a helping hand.

"Common Hope," a non–profit organization aims to educate children while empowering their families.

LeAnn Wallace sat down with a mother and daughter to talk about their life changing experience.

More than 13–million people call Guatemala home, and Deb Mitchell and her daughter Morgan took on the sites and sounds of the country, hoping to touch at least one.

"It's not just Americans going in and saying this is how we think you should do things. It's working with them and getting ideas from them and asking for their help in making their lives better," says Deb.

From building a one– room home to offering social help, the group's mission was to come face–to–face with the country's poverty while working along side those impacted by that poverty.

One of the main focuses of "Common Hope" is education.

"Education for children was virtually non–existent...there was some if you could afford it and you could go, and now school is free but you still have to pay for uniforms, transportation, all of the school supplies, books, everything," says Deb.

"I met a kid and I helped him study for his English test which was pretty interesting," says Morgan.

Deb Mitchell's family also sponsors a child in Guatemala, so they also got to spend time with her as well.

Deb said everyone they met welcomed them with open arms.

"The Guatemalan people are just phenomenal, so welcoming, so appreciative, and getting to know their culture was wonderful."

"I came back feeling really good like I did something for someone who needed some help."

"It was really much more emotional than I expected and it was really sad to leave them."

"...Adios."

Deb and her family plan to continue volunteering their time with "Common Hope" as well as maintaining a relationship with the girl they sponsor.