General Dentistry |4 min read

Pencils of Promise – A Helping Hand in Guatemala

Dr. Bradley Olson, your personal Dentist in Waldorf, cares immensely about his community, his patients, and people in other parts of the world. He and his family are committed to helping others and that is why they partnered with Pencils of Promise to build a school in Guatemala.  His wife, Sharon, and daughter, Kelsey, traveled to Guatemala and visited different communities that have been impacted by Pencils of Promise.  Pencils of Promise knows the power of education.  With donors like the Olson Family, PoP is changing the world.  Below you will read about Sharon and Kelsey’s trip to Guatemala.

Visiting Communities & Helping Make a Difference

Sharon and Kelsey Olson share a little bit about each of the communities they visited during their time in Guatemala. Their smiling faces show how much they enjoyed meeting and interacting with the people in the different communities. 

Sharron and Kelsey Olson broke down their experience based on each community that they visited. Below they mention which town they went to and what it was like. Their smiling faces no doubt show how much they truly enjoyed having a share in these projects.

The first community we visited... Xiquina.

“We were greeted with cheers and lots of smiles.  At this community, we saw a“provisional” classroom. Dirt floors, slats of wood on all four sides. This community had started the construction of the new PoP school. We helped carry buckets of cement to the work site. (PoP requires the communities to help by gathering natural resources. They are also expected to help with part of the labor as well.)”

Kelsey takes a photo with all of the children that she had the opportunity to meet.


The second community we visited… Chirij Maza

“When we arrived, we were shown the “museum” that the students put together for us (Projects that they completed in class). The students played music for us and sang for us. This community had a PoP school and the students were very proud to show us their classrooms. In addition, this community has implemented the “WASH” program… It is a program that helps the students to learn about water, sanitation and proper hygiene. There were a few students who were selected to be “WASH” leaders and their job is to make sure proper hygiene expectations are followed by all of the students.”

Sharron Olson Smiles With Young Guatemalan Boy

Kelsey Olson Smiles WIth a Group of Children From Bradley Olson DDS

The third community we visited… Chuicomo

“At this community, we saw an existing PoP school. The students were so excited to see us and show us their classrooms.”

Kelsey Poses with all the children that are having a school built for them

The fourth community we visited… Eca Agraria El Paraiso

“This was where we took part in a powerful groundbreaking ceremony. The community members were lined up on the side of the road as we pulled up and they were cheering and clapping. I rolled down my window and videotaped the warm welcome. After our warm greeting, they had us sit at a table in a covered area. This was the hottest community we had visited. It was in the southern part of the country.

Kelsey Olson Holds little girl in a yellow dress from guatemala

There were provisional classrooms here. The classrooms had dirt floors and fencing for walls. These classrooms will no longer be used once the PoP school is built. The teachers performed a few dances for us and then the students lined up to put their “hopes and dreams” papers into the “Suenos Box” (Hopes and Dream Box). The Suenos Box was handed to me and we walked to the open field where a hole had already been dug. I placed the box in the hole and we (the donors) buried it. The PoP school will be built over it. The school will be ready by October.”

Sharron & Kelsey Olson Breaks The Ground At The Ceremony In Guatemala. Building Schools

How Did You Feel About This Experience?

“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.”  -Mandy Hale

Sharron and Kelsey smile with an entire guatemalan class of children and staff
This was such a meaningful experience! We enjoyed visiting the communities and meeting the children and parents. They were all so appreciative. Adam Braun is having such a positive impact on the communities in these developing countries. Knowing that we were able to help with his mission brought us joy and a true appreciation for the every day things we so often take for granted . . . clean water, access to schools, transportation, etc. Every person can make a difference.

Above is Sharon and Kelsey reflecting on their life-changing experience in Guatemala. Have you ever had the privilege to help a community? What is one of your favorite communities to support? Comment below.

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