A Day in the Life of a Bunea Onda Volunteer

volunteers buena onda

By William Deboer, Volunteer


Today we all woke up at around 5:45 to go and grab a coffee and shower to get ready for work. Some of us preferred to sleep in until 6:15 to grab a little extra shuteye. We all headed over to Violleta’s for breakfast at 6:30. Today’s breakfast consisted of pancakes with syrup, cantaloupe, and coffee or water to drink. It was very good and the coffee today was extra strong, just like I was hoping for. After we all ate and thanked Violetta, my group and our mentor Brian went to the market area to catch a bus to San Antonio. Upon arrival, we hopped on a bus and paid 4 quetzales per person to ride. The buses today were not as busy as they usually are as the bus was only about half full.

When we arrived in San Antonio, we immediately set out to find the house that we had been working on for the past couple of days. It was the house of a family that had a roof collapse during a severe storm, which knocked down about half of their home. We started the day off by moving the wardrobe that we had renovated into the building area as we no longer needed to furnish it. Following that, we put corrosive resistant paint all over the sides of the new metal roof pieces. There were 7 pieces in total, and after they were painted we left them in the sun to dry. After that, we walked back to the school that Victoria runs and picked up some plywood for the new walls. There was a total of three pieces and we had to make two trips.

Upon arrival at the site after bringing the wood over we saw a rainbow or an “arco iris” as the locals call it. They told us that it was a sign of good luck and for these poor people they need every bit of luck they can get. The last thing we worked on at the site today was putting a lacquer on the wood to prevent termites from coming to eat it later on. When that was done we said our goodbyes and hopped on a bus back to Antigua for some much-needed lunch and rest before Spanish classes started.


lunch buena onda

Lunch today was very delicious; it was chicken patties, squash, salsa, and pasta. After eating lunch, my group and I went to a local convenience store and got a soda and some snacks to have while waiting around for classes to start. Today was a great day and we are making some real progress. In no time at all, the family that we are helping will have a full house once more.

Today in Spanish class my teacher and I went over some of the irregular verbs. Specifically, we went over verbs that have I-to-IE conjugations as well as the verbs that have conjunctions with O to UE. Other than this we played a game with another student and his teacher, it was rolling dice to pick words and then create sentences using those words.

After Spanish, we all returned back to the hostel to rest and have a quick meeting about the volcano climb this weekend.

During this meeting, we went over what to pack and where we can go to find more information on the hike. We would be doing an overnight on the mountain and most things we would need would be provided to us by the hiking guides. We would need to definitely pack warmer clothes because it can get up to 15 degrees colder towards the top of the mountain.