The Wonders of Zoom

Date posted: Friday 20 November 2020

This time of COVID has made both the U.S. and Guatemala go into quarantine. But the connections between ILAG and the Saint Paul Area Synod have continued in new ways.


One recent way is through the wonders of Zoom. The girls who stayed at El Milagro school during the pandemic have been participating via Zoom in nutrition classes with Randee Edmundson and myself, Joan Felice. It has been a time of trial and error for us as instructors and for the girls as we all learned to adapt to this new, very long-distance tool to teach, study and learn over the distance. The lessons included, PowerPoints, videos, discussions—and even Legos! The girls have been wonderful, brilliant, thoughtful students.


Classes have met four times for about an hour on Monday afternoons. The classes so far have included activities to build our learning relationship, basic nutrition, diabetes (a growing concern in Guatemala), its causes, effects on health, and how diet can reduce the chances of developing this condition and sharing thoughts about personal and community nutritional practices. Randee and I had fun sharing photos of our early snowfall, and having a “snowball fight” where girls responded on paper to a question, then wadded up the paper, and threw it as if it was a snowball. They each then picked up a “snowball,” flattened it, and shared the anonymous answer on the “snowball” with the group. This was a great icebreaker.


Future classes will include more nutrition topics, the water cycle, understanding water in agriculture, and climate change mitigations. The next two weeks, the Milagro students will be watching and responding a video about the effect of climate change on the people who live around Lake Chad in Africa. Pastora Karen and Diego thought that it would be important for the girls to see the effects of climate change on other parts of the world and to relate it to the impacts of climate change on their villages in Guatemala. The Milagro students will respond to questions by the film maker and the environmental writer who had made the video available. Their responses will eventually be shared with the people living near Lake Chad.


For those who would like to see the video that the girls are watching the link is and the password is chad. This is one of the first videos I have seen where the people affected by climate change have been able to tell their story.


Joan Felice