A former Poland school bus was put into action last week during a Mission of Love trip to Tecpan, Guatemala. The bus now carries children to and from school and serves the Way-Bi House of Dreams, a hospice for children.
The bus was purchased by Mission of Love who secured donations to buy it. According to Janet Marstellar, Poland transportation director, the bus didn't cut it for local service.
"It was part of the fleet we could no longer use," she said. "It wouldn't pass inspection, but in Guatemala, the rules aren't as stiff."
Photo special to the Town Crier
Mission of Love volunteers ride the former Poland school bus to their stop in Paquip, Guatemala, to pick up first- and second-graders. The bus ended its trip at a home for orphaned children where the volunteers painted two dining halls last week.
She said it met the requirements for that country and when the decision was made to put it out for bid; Mission of Love won the bid.
On Feb. 2, the bus was driven to the Youngstown Air Reserve Base where it was loaded onto a cargo plane and flown to Guatemala last week. A Mission of Love volunteer team was able to ride the bus to Way-Bi House of Dreams where they put the finishing touches on a hospice for children.
For Marstellar, it was a good feeling knowing of its arrival.
"Everything has a purpose," she said. "I think it is wonderful to see this happen as opposed to see the bus sitting in a junk yard collecting rust. I'm glad it worked out."
The mission trip also included a medical team that performed cleft palate operations and many generous gifts such as the 10,000 pounds of Ohio corn. In the end, the bus, the food and supplies, and the volunteer team were all about one thing, and that was the Mayan children.
In an email Mission of Love founder/director Kathy Price said, "We are servicing the blind, dying, hungry, uneducated Maya. They are our teachers in life, on just how to make a difference."