Meet Margaret, one of Friends of San Lucas’ Long-Term Volunteers. She just completed her annual three-month visit to San Lucas Tolimán and returned home to Virginia. Margaret was eager to get home so she could plant her garden but certainly will miss Guatemala. What you might not know about Margaret is that she has been going to the Mission since 2003.
Margaret was first introduced to the Mission in 2003 through Catholic Medical Mission Board. The position she was interested in required a minimum of 3 months commitment. She had no idea what to expect, and no background with New Ulm, MN, but she signed up for what would be a life-changing experience. (In a good way!)
When Margaret arrived in San Lucas for the first time she brought her experience as a nurse in rural Virginia for over 20 years. During her three months in San Lucas, Margaret was fortunate to have met and volunteered with Sue Hammerton Smith, who founded the Mission’s Health Promoter Program. Health Promoters live in the communities they serve and receive training to identify the treatment and prevention of different illnesses.
This year Margaret joined Friends of San Lucas again as a Long-Term Volunteer. In her role, she supported visiting groups and provided translation. Margaret noted how much the Mission has evolved over the years, and through all of the changes, she still enjoys her time meeting, greeting, and eating with visiting groups and the community.
During Margaret’s visits over the years, she was blessed to meet Father Greg Schaffer. She fondly remembers how he would welcome everyone so genuinely to Guatemala. When visitors would first arrive he would regularly ask visitors to call their families. He wanted to make sure that you were in touch with your family during your stay and that your family felt good you were there.
Throughout her many years of traveling to the Mission, Margaret has made close friends she stays in touch with year-round. She would encourage you (yes, you!) to think about becoming a Long-Term Volunteer! As a Long-Term Volunteer, Margaret has had the opportunity to be one of the welcoming faces when visitors arrive, offering radical hospitality just as Father Greg did for her many years ago. To learn more about becoming a Long-Term Volunteer, click here.
While Margaret just finished up her trip, with a round of goodbyes, we know she will be back! Thank you, Margaret, for your ongoing partnership in supporting the Mission.