Cutline: Hannah Farnsworth, a 2019 Dalton grad and University of Akron student, will be going to Guatemala next month to volunteer in schools and clinics, to help build a house and to go on social work visits with workers.
A recent Dalton graduate is getting ready for a trip to Guatemala to help residents there, and to gain some valuable experience for her chosen profession.
Hannah Farnsworth, a 2019 Dalton graduate who attends the University of Akron, will be heading with a team of eight other students from the UA Williams Honors College plus a professor to the Central American country known for volcanoes and coffee fields. The group is working through Common Hope.
The charity works to end the cycle of poverty for children in Guatemala by partnering with children, families and communities who want to improve their lives through education, health care, housing and family development, according to www.commonhope.org.
“I decided to get involved with this project because I love helping others and this is an opportunity that doesn’t come up that often,” Farnsworth said. “I also love traveling and learning about other cultures and seeing other places. I had been looking at honors classes to take and when I saw this opportunity I knew I wanted to do this.”
The 19-year-old is taking a class to get honors credits in addition to her trip. She is learning about the culture and history of Guatemala.
“I am really excited about this project,” Farnsworth said. “I have never done a trip like this one before. While we are there we will be volunteering in schools and clinics, building a house, and going to social work visits with workers. I have been out of the country many times with my family and once this summer when I was studying abroad. I’m really excited about this trip and I’ve already made some friends who are also going.”
Farnsworth is raising money for the foundation to support projects they will be working on. She is more than halfway to her $800 goal. To donate, visit https://give.commonhope.org/fundraiser/2415089.
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 50 percent of people living below the poverty line and 25 percent earning less than $2 per day, according to Farnsworth’s fundraising page. Sadly, only 17 percent graduate from high school.
Common Hope provides more than 3,200 students access to quality health care, housing, school, and social work services each year. In total, 14,000 individuals will be touched by Common Hope’s comprehensive programming.
Farnsworth said she is thankful to everyone who has donated to the cause and who are supporting her.
She is double majoring in history and anthropology and minoring in Classics. She plans to further her education at graduate school for anthropology. Ultimately, she would like to be an archaeologist. She said she believes volunteering in Guatemala will help her with that profession as she is immersed in another culture.
The group will be staying for a week in January. Farnsworth said she is slightly nervous about traveling to a part of the world she has never been before, but she is more excited than anything.
“I hope to gain a lot of new experiences from this trip,” Farnsworth said. “It should be a really rewarding experience and something if I enjoy it I could see myself going on more trips like this one. This experience will help me become an archaeologist because it will help me learn how to live in other cultures.”
The Dalton native’s parents are Chris and Sarah Curtis, and she has a younger brother, Ethan. She also has two beloved pet dogs, Gus and Farley, and two birds, Louis and Maisey.
“We are so proud of Hannah for participating in this program and trying to make a difference in the world,” mom Sarah Curtis said.