By Staff Writer Maddie Kenn
A member of The Torch had a life changing opportunity to participate in a non-profit organization and travel to Guatemala this past July. The organization, known as Worthy Village, first started in 2014 with a small group of volunteers and has increased in size over the years.
Worthy Village was established by a former UMass Dartmouth student, Julia Rayberg. Rayberg mentioned that she was a sophomore at UMassD when she first traveled to Guatemala with a few of her classmates and professor. She explained that her experience was impactful and encouraged her to develop small programs to support the communities her and her classmates worked with.
A year after traveling, she convinced friends and students to join her on another trip to Guatemala to volunteer in service work in the area. Rayberg and her friends worked for about a year and a half before officially registering the organization and giving it the name “Worthy Village.” Rayberg decided to continue building the organization after graduating at UMass Dartmouth in 2016, and spends about ten months of the year working in Guatemala and two months in Boston fundraising, speaking, and networking.
As of January 2, 2018, Worthy Village provided over four-thousand villagers with access to filtered drinking water, health and hygiene curriculum in schools in the area, helped send children to school with scholarships, and so much more! Worthy Village is still active today and is growing larger each year!
On the trip, volunteers are expected to meet and socialize with local Mayans, participate in trainings in order to successfully build a water filtration system, deliver the systems to families as well as teach the guardians how to assemble the system and properly clean it, visit local schools and interact with the school children as well as teach women and children the importance of health and hygiene.
As of right now, Worthy Village is planning on running a trip this coming January. It is important to keep in mind that the trips usually last up to eight days at the minimum, but you can also volunteer to stay for a month or longer, if that is a personal goal of yours.
If interested, please visit the Worthy Village website, and contact Info@worthyvillage.org for any questions or to let them know that you’re interested! You can also contact myself through the email provided below with any questions you may have, if you’re interested in viewing pictures of my trip this past July, or just to let me know that this is something you’re considering!
Don’t let the price overwhelm you, it is manageable and fundraisers are held prior to the trip. If this sounds appealing to you, and you’re willing to give to the Guatemalan community, and please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email regarding the organization!