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Community Development2 min read


Building Toward Transformation

Blog Team
Sep 04, 2012

Mark LandolfiMeet Mark Landolfi: humble, down-to-earth, an advocate of transforming impoverished Guatemalan communities.

He appeared in our Total Village Transformation documentary during his second trip to the village of El Arco, a community partnering with Christ Community Church in East Taunton, Massachusetts (read an interview with Christ Community’s Senior Pastor John Lloyd here).

Mark felt called to help in the transformation of El Arco, specifically the construction of the new projects there. As a professional mason, he knew he could be of practical help.

He was excited to work with the construction of the village’s small vocational school, though the project initially seemed overwhelming. Mark questioned if he and his team could build an entire school in only a week. But in El Arco, he was met by a small team of Guatemalan masons . . .


I’m glad . . . because we could have never finished the project in a week’s time. It was very interesting working with the Guatemalan people. There was a bond. They used different tools and a different method of building, but we both worked together to make it work. I speak very little Spanish, but we communicated by hands [and we] read each other’s mind while working together. [The project] didn’t seem possible, but God knew it was.


Between the two teams, they accomplished the majority of the construction. Even amid temperatures reaching up to 105 degrees, they worked tirelessly. “We drank a lot of water,” he quipped.

“My goal . . . is for the Guatemalan people [to] go to this school to learn a trade, educate themselves, and live productive lives to support their families and to be more self-sufficient,” he said.

El ArcoAnd that is exactly what’s happening in El Arco. The vocational school is giving young adults the opportunity to study in-demand occupations like carpentry, tailoring, electrical work, and welding. Individuals who previously struggled just to survive now have the skills they need to provide for their families.

Mark said one of the most impactful moments of his trip was seeing a young boy at the feeding center. He had just returned from digging through the trash dump—his clothes burned and his face streaked with sweat and soot from the live fires that burn night and day amongst the heaps of garbage.

“His eyes looked so sad. I gave him food and I turned away and broke down,” he said. “No one should have to live like this.”

The Church in El ArcoThis is the kind of compassion that makes our work possible. Supporters like Mark and Christ Community Church are the backbone of World Help’s efforts around the world. We can only accomplish genuine and permanent change because of this profound support.

Mark shared his prayer that more people will partner with World Help to bring transformation to Guatemalan communities—and we couldn’t be more grateful! Each new Total Village Transformation translates into restored hope and healthy futures.

Watch Mark talk about building lasting foundations in our full-length Total Village Transformation documentary.


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