Canyon Crest Academy student volunteers at Guatemala school

By Karen Billing
Staff Writer

Carmel Valley’s Adam Woodnutt, 14, spent three weeks of his summer volunteering in Guatemala at a school for indigenous Mayan children. The incoming sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy logged 60 hours of community service from July 16 to Aug. 5 with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA), an international organization headquartered in San Diego that offers service-learning opportunities to high school students.

“I feel like we made a difference and I think the kids will remember us.” Adam said.

Canyon Crest Academy student Adam Woodnutt volunteered at a Guatemalan school for three weeks with Global Leadership Adventures.

Adam researched many different kinds of service trips and picked GLA’s Guatemala trip for its focus on service and foreign language — he is fairly adept at speaking conversational Spanish.

“I wanted to go on a trip that wouldn’t be like a vacation, I wanted to go on one to actually help people and learn things,” Adam said.

Adam’s group included 36 students, mainly from the U.S., but also some from Europe. They stayed in a lodge outside of Xela and participated in an immersion curriculum designed to improve their Spanish-speaking skills.

Throughout the week, the students restored a classroom at a local Mayan school. They built up the new classroom and even installed faucets.

“I had built things before but not anything of that scale,” Adam said. “The hardest part was probably chiseling out part of the wall. It was just rock and it took like 30 minutes just to get a little done.”

The group painted the outside of the classroom building, as well.

Adam had plenty of time to connect with the school’s students—the kids always wanted to be carried piggyback-style and loved taking pictures with his camera. He was impressed that while the children appeared to have very little and were dressed in “hand-me-down” clothes, “They were all really happy still,” he said. “They were nice little kids.”

In addition to the service work, the students visited different towns and villages in Guatemala, such as the market town of Chichicastenango, archeological ruins, organic coffee farms and the sacred lake Laguna Chicabal, located at the top of a dormant volcano.

Adam learned about Mayan art, music and culture — he was struck by how vibrant the community was, with bright colors used in clothing and art, and the people very welcoming and so happy.

At CCA this year, Adam hopes to get more involved with school service groups and wants to find a cause to support and fundraise for.
“I think (service) is very rewarding,” Adam said,

He would “absolutely” recommend Global Leadership Adventures to his peers and hopes to be able to do another project in a future summer, perhaps GLA’s service trip to Ghana.

To learn more, visit

Related posts:

  1. Torrey Pines High School and Canyon Crest Academy to hold fashion show fundraiser
  2. Canyon Crest Academy Student Film Festival winners announced
  3. Canyon Crest Academy student wins county-wide essay contest
  4. Torrey Pines High School, Canyon Crest Academy Fashion Show fundraiser
  5. Canyon Crest Academy senior selected for American Chemical Society Scholars Program

Short URL:

Posted by Karen Billing on Aug 17, 2011. Filed under Carmel Valley, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’s La Jolla office tops in real estate sales volume for first half of 2014
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices reported its La Jolla office was No. 1 for sales production through the first half of the year, out of the company’s North American network of offices. The results point to another year of dominance for the La Jolla office, which has ranked No. 1 nationwide for nine of the last 11 years. […]
  • House of Week; 329 Bonair Street #4
    Buy The Sea! 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths. Just a 1/2 block to famous WindanSea Beach. Watch for the green flash in the sunset from one of 5 balconies. Over 1350 sq ft. Great separation of bedrooms. Marble living room fireplace. Skylights. Dual pane windows. Gas range. Two-car tandem garage off alley. Offered at $995,000 […]
  • What were the odds?
    I think we’d all agree that no one should have to worry about being run over by a motor vehicle in their own shower. I’m a world class worrier but until it almost happened, it never occurred to me to worry that a stolen car would crash through our front fence and stop inches from joining me in the master bath. This wasn’t recent, fortunately, but it comprise […]