Laurier SOS Guatemala Trip-Jenna Matisz

From August 17 to September 1 2012 I will be travelling with Wilfrid Laurier University's Students Offering Support group to Columba La Florida, Guatemala to volunteer. My trip will cost me $1900, so any donations would be greatly appreciated!

About The Organization

Students Offering Support is an organization that was created by Wilfrid Laurier students in 2004. The organization offers Exam-Aid sessions to students during midterm and exam seasons in return for donations, which then fund annual trips for students to volunteer in developing nations. The organization has now expanded to 11 different universities across Canada. 

To learn more about SOS, visit these 2 websites:

Details About My Trip


Columba La Florida, Guatemala

About the Community: 

La Florida is a community of 40 Maya families of 247 people who predominately work collectively for their own subsistence, as well produce organic coffee. It is unique in that they are all afforded equal benefits of the farming activities, including land plots and equal wages of $4US a day. Nearing all profits from the operations have been reinvested into community development projects, however the community is still plagued by an ill-managed past and government corruption. SOS has made a long-term commitment to helping La Florida reach sustainability in 3-5 years, and this project will help achieve better relationships amongst community members as well as foster growth with international trade partners.


Working with Retro Juvenil Internacional (RJI), SOS will be taking on a two-stage project for a multi-purpose community centre for hosting workshops of various community groups and housing the community office. Laurier will be helping with the first stage of the project to break ground and prepare the building's foundation.


The SOS group will be hosted in a large wooden house in La Florida, about 2 minutes from the work site. There will be electricity, running water, and filtered water. All meals will be cooked by local women and will consist mainly of traditional Mayan food. The proximity to the community will allow for frequent interactions with the children and others. There are health centres available in the community, and the closest hospital is 40 minutes away in Colomba. 

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Jenna Matisz 
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