Sixteen members of the Nicola Valley Evangelical Free Church visited Tactic, Guatemala, for 10 days to help locals.

For James Clark, it was a chance to return to where he and his wife, Diane, helped erect a school six years ago.

He returned from the latest trip on July 21.

“It was great to go back and see it finished,” he said. “Not only was it finished, but it had an addition built on.”

Guatemalan buildings are erected with the thought of additions already in mind, he said. So the builders leave rebar sticking out of the top to facilitate growth.

The building is made from cinder block.

“They do one storey that is made out of cinder block and the roof is just poured cement,” he said. “All the rebar is sticking up and when they can afford to, they just add another storey.”

Most of the Guatemalan buildings have the rebar poking up, he said.

The group visited for three reasons: to help build an addition to the school site, to educate teachers and to organize the medical clinic.

“We took some boxes of drugs from a [Canadian] drug company,” Clark added.

The drugs were for general ailments such as intestinal problems and cost the group $575 for a box of drugs that would cost nearly $5,000 if they weren’t for foreign aid.

Three members of the group are teachers and used their skills to instruct local faculty about teaching.

“We did workshops with them and helped them set up a reading program,” he said.

More than half the group had never been to Guatemala.

The group stayed with Impact Ministries, which rented a house for the team.

Impact Ministries aims to teach biblical principles so that they become a part of everyday life of those who come into contact with the group.

Anyone interested in financially supporting a child can call Clark at 250-378-9894 or visit www.impactministries.ca.