WORLD EXPLORERS: Senior goes to Guatemala for children

Gabby Lopez, Staff Writer

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Senior Maura Wilcox’s love of children led her to an experience of a lifetime this past summer when she visited Guatemala.

“My trip to Guatemala really stood out because of how it focused on the children,” said Wilcox, who connected with an organization called Children of the Maya. “They were always smiling and extremely grateful for everything that we did, even if it was as simple as picking them up.”

During her trip, Wilcox said her trip had two factors, changing the lives of the natives and her own.

“It really showed me that we should all be extremely grateful and feel blessed for everything that we have because we do not appreciate it enough,” Wilcox said.

As she reached more rural parts of Guatemala, she saw that there was a major difference between the city and Muskegon.

“They had a lot of locally owned stores that looked run-down and poor,” she said.

As the differences started to arise, so did the different types of people who lived in Guatemala.

“Half of them seemed very grateful and loved seeing us, and the other half seemed angry to see us,” Wilcox said.
During her trip, Wilcox said she had foods that she was familiar with but were prepared in a different way, like a mix of chicken and tortillas that were much thicker than regular tortillas prepared in the United States.

However, one moment stands out.

“If I could relive ten minutes of the trip, I would go back to the first day we were at one of the schools,” she said.

The children were excited to see them as they put on a performance thanking them for the construction and painting they did for their school.

Wilcox said the performance the children put on was put together well and perfected even though the children had just started vacation.

“Their smiles made my whole day every time I saw them, and being able to experience that changed my perspective on their culture,” Wilcox said

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