Reconnecting to Roots - Student Trip



Why was Frances Dixon driven to “go to the end of the road?” Why do any of us seek to make the world a better, sustainable, and nurturing place? I like to think that in one way or another, we are called to manifest our best selves. Replacing Muriel Strode’s “path” with Frances Dixon’s “road” is a guiding message, we challenge each of you with: “I will not go where the road may lead, but I will go where there is no road, and will leave a trail.”

Adopt-a-Village’s Frances saw the horrors of decimated people, villages and culture when she traveled to the end of the road in northern Guatemala. Ravaged by a long civil war brought on by the non-native descendants who fought to destroy and replace the original people, the Maya people she encountered felt her depth of compassion, much as an angry dog will settle down when presented with compassion and not fear.

And look where her trail has led!!! For over thirty years, children in the region she stumbled into are learning to read and write in their own languages (Mam, Chuj and Q’anjob’al), and are also learning to speak, read and write in Spanish, the national language. They’re motivated to learn. They’re motivated to serve their communities by sharing what they have. And they seek to be part of making the world a better place - a place that is habitable for “all creatures great and small.”

While today’s world is still rife with war, selfishness, and lack of appreciation for what has been before, many of us are driven to be of service, not of war. Frances sought to help broaden the lives of those she has encountered, not by “converting them," but by enhancing their knowledge and appreciation for their heritage and their ancestors. Adopt-a-Village is about to embark on an illuminating adventure.

It’s a four-day (three-night) learning field trip for the Maya Jaguar students, both middle and high school, accompanied by their teachers - 25 people total. The concept of the outing was tested a couple of years ago by the Maya Jaguar staff and Frances.

They will travel eight hours by chartered bus to the site of Tikal, and will visit the nearby nature reserve in Flores - both in northern Guatemala. The goal of the trip is for the participants to develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the rich heritages the scholars share with the four cultures that are dramatically demonstrated in the temples and museum in Tikal. They will also have the opportunity to become acquainted with the endangered wildlife in the preserves and nature parks on Flores Lake. What better way to broaden their lives?

They will stay in a safe local hotel and enjoy healthy foods. Teachers have been assigned specific areas to study. The students will meet with the teachers in the evenings after their adventures to reinforce and to share their new discoveries.

The trip includes the bus rental for four days, the driver, 12 meals, the hotel, admission to the museum and nature reserves, and the boat that will take them across Flores Lake to the animal reserves. The total cost is $3,000 - just $120 per person!!

Please join us to turn this special field trip into a reality for the students. (Select "Returning to Roots" Student Trip on the DONATE page.)

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