Tony Bachtell is a floor coverer and member of Local 344 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Tony led a team of 13 individuals on a mission trip to Hogar de Vida in San Andres Sachjabaja, Guatemala, in November 2017. Hogar de Vida is a children’s home located deep in the mountains of Central America, approximately six hours from Guatemala City. Hogar de Vida exists to provide nutritional support and an environment for children who are orphaned or unable to stay with their families due to the devastating poverty prevalent in the region. There are currently 32 children residing in this home.
Lakeland Community Church of Lake Geneva, WI, sent a team to Guatemala to provide support in the care of these vulnerable children. The volunteers provided relief to the permanent caregivers living in Hogar de Vida by watching the children, completing needed constructions projects, performing minor maintenance tasks, and keeping the staff, children, and surrounding community in their prayers. The volunteers planned, purchased, built, stained and delivered closets to a home for the men who aged out of Hogar de Vida. They painted the common areas of the home. A vast number of minor maintenance projects were also completed, including running electric wiring, fixing hinges, repairing vehicles and some major gardening tasks.
Near the end of the trip, a plumbing project was added to the necessary task list. A local contractor constructed a building for three toilets and showers. Among the team of 13 was a licensed plumber so the team was able to work alongside the contractor and plan a proper plumber system for the building. This will be the first adequate plumbing system in the area.
The group also took a day hike into the mountains to deliver food and necessities to a Quiche Aldea, a small Indian village.
About the trip, Tony says, “This was my fourth trip and my most humbling and rewarding yet. I have been asked to lead our international missions team moving forward and am, already, working on the plans for a November 2018 return. I am truly blessed with many skills that allow me to selflessly serve. I would like to thank the fellow individual floor coverers and my Local 344 for the financial support.”