Robbed and Redeemed in Guatemala

Joel Silverstein wrote in Ack’s Inquirer-Mirror last week, an inspiring tale.

“A near catastrophe resulted in a triumph of humanity last week for the 15 Nantucket students and five adult chaperones volunteering for the God’s Child Project, a nonprofit relief organization for impoverished children in Antigua, Guatemala.

The group had just spent their first day in South America, and as a Guatemalan God’s Child employee walked down a crowded Antiguan street, the cash bag that held all of the money changed to Guatemalan currency by the Nantucket group – $2,930 – was snatched from her hands by a passing car.

That night, Atkinson attended a dinner party in Antigua with a mix of native Guatemalans and foreign expatriates that have retired there. During dinner, Atkinson mentioned the Nantucket group’s misfortune. Around the table, there was an outcry, he said. The Antiguans were mortified that the northern volunteers who’d come to their country to do public service had had their money literally snatched from their finger tips.

One by one, the group of party-goers reached for their pockets.

“They replaced the money on the spot,” Atkinson said. The next morning, he called the Nantucket group together to tell them their money would be replaced. According to Atkinson, many of them had tears in their eyes.

“It was a really nice ending to an unfortunate loss,” Atkinson said.