Thanksgiving, November 2018
Like the students at the American School of Guatemala, many of us remember the story of the first Thanksgiving; a story about hardship, sacrifice, goodwill, an extended hand of generosity- an exchange of culture through a plentiful menu of corn, potato, pheasant and grains. A lesson of the rich indigenous culture opened to the European foreigners new and unfamiliar with the western hemisphere.
As the story goes, there was an incredible feast received with gratitude that helped the pilgrims endure a long and tough winter. The generous feast was a lesson on the fruits of a successful harvest and showed the new comers the wealth of their new home---rich in food and kindness.
Today, the story of the first thanksgiving lives in each new generation of American and the friends and family we open our hearts and homes to. But, there is so much more to Thanksgiving than an autumn harvest and delicious food.
The values of the story transcend all nations and all religions. Thanksgiving is about the best of humanity sharing in their successes to help others. It´s about welcoming newcomers to your family, home and community. Thanksgiving is about teaching others the importance of resourcefulness, endurance, and optimism. And finally, the greatest lesson of Thanksgiving is instilling in children these values and the importance of passing them on from one generation to the next- exchanging values between families and sharing them with strangers without judgement, and always with kindness.
Today, as I walk through the halls of CAG, I am reminded that Thanksgiving lives in us each and every day. We see Guatemalans and foreign teachers embrace each other´s cultures and share in each other´s traditions. We see our young students eagerly looking into the eyes of their parents, teachers and friends to celebrate moments of joy and find encouragement and courage to tackle the next big hurdle of growing up. We see big hands extend to little hands helping each other get up after a tumble or setback. We watch our faculty instill inspiration through subject. And always, we watch the CAG community rally to celebrate joys, and come together in hardship to get each and all through a dark and cold winter. We are a Living Thanksgiving.
At the American School, we are also benefactors of generosity from our founders, grandparents, parents and alumni who have selflessly given back to their school to ensure the tradition of CAG lives on in the hearts and minds of our students so that they learn to come back and do the same, . . . keeping the CAG tradition leading, alive, and strong. We are a Living Thanksgiving.
And as a result of the work of those before us, The CAG harvest is seen in each young family´s desire to achieve the best education for their children in Guatemala. In the hopeful and aspiring young faces of over 1615 students. In the peeking roof tops of our iconic campus and throughout the green and blossoming acres of where our school is nestled. From the Founders Library, to the McVean Auditorium, to the Wilson Gymnasium, the scouts´ lounge, the Montanita, our telescope, and strong front face of the School at our front door.
We have received the shares of harvest and our future is bright.
To our students, our faculty, their families and our extended CAG family, we thank you for your gifts and generosity. We find warmth in our CAG home and find strength in the CAG community. We enjoy the plenty from the CAG harvest and promise to pass it on.
Happy Thanksgiving to each and all!