Sophomore uses visual talents to give back to GuatemalansApril 22, 2013

When Meghan Fessler returned from her weeklong service trip in Guatemala, she came back with a sense of connection to the people of Guatemala she had not anticipated.

It’s because of this connection that the Kansas City, Mo., sophomore wanted to find some way of giving back.

“I don’t know how to put my week into words,” Fessler said. “We made a real connection with the people there and with the children. They have a piece of my heart.”

The week Fessler returned from Guatemala, she found a way she could use her artistic talents to give back to the Guatemalans. Fessler submitted a photo of a local girl in traditional Guatemalan garb to the University’s Ignatian Heritage Week photo contest. The top prize for the contest was $100. She knew that if she won, she would find a way to give the money back to the San Lucas Mission.

Fessler said the submitted photo was one of her favorites because she thought the child was beautiful and the photo captured a moment in the day-to-day lives of Guatemalan children.  She was on her way to one of the work sites when she saw the little girl standing on the side of the road.

“There is something about her,” Fessler said about the girl in the photo. “I know nothing about her, but this photo starts to tell a story about her and about all Guatemalan children. “

After all the votes were in, Fessler’s photo won first place.

With the prize money, she would be able to buy supplies for the school run by the San Lucas Mission. In total, Fessler spent around $130 for medicine and school supplies such as pencils, crayons, markers and construction paper. 

Bill Kriege, assistant director of campus ministry, who coordinated the service trips, was excited to hear what Fessler had done.

“It speaks to the transformative power of the trip,” Kriege said. “Student hearts and minds are immediately drawn back to the relationship that they build during the trip. This is just one stop for Meghan.  One stop that I hope and pray is a lifelong relationship with the people of Guatemala.”

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