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Building friendships, fostering understanding

Lynda and Cris Sidell spent their honeymoon on a service trip to Guatemala. Learn more about how you can join CoEd on a service trip to Guatemala. Learn more about CoEd's programs in Guatemala.

A Honeymoon Like No Other

Like most newlyweds, Cris and Lynda Sidell couldn’t wait to go on their honeymoon. The marriage ceremony under their belts, they could now relax and start planning their new life together. But unlike most people—who opt for a beach vacation or sight-seeing in Europe—Cris and Lynda decided to take a service trip to Guatemala.

Finding a Kindred Spirit

“I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Cris says. A high school teacher in Dayton, Ohio, Cris first traveled with CoEd four years earlier. The experience changed his life. He took what he learned about Guatemala’s culture, its people, and their struggle against poverty back to his classroom. “It made me a better teacher and a better person,” he says. Then he met Lynda and was delighted to discover that she shared his dual passion for service and education. “When Cris first brought up the idea of going to Guatemala for our honeymoon, I knew this would be a great way to start our new life together.”

Sharing Their Gifts

In lieu of wedding gifts, Cris and Lynda asked their friends and family to make donations to CoEd projects. They felt they already had enough to live a happy life. Why not spread their good fortune around by helping their new friends in Guatemala?

Why Bridges?

Program Highlights

People have traveled to Guatemala on a CoEd project tour

Report a significant shift in the way they view the world

Share what they learned about Guatemala with others

We live in a global world. What happens in other countries affects us at home. As such, we must continue to increase awareness, build relationships, and strengthen bonds with our neighbors, including those who live on the margins of society. The Bridges Program increases understanding and knowledge of global challenges and connects people in the U.S. and beyond with friends in Guatemala.

How the Program Works

Bridges has five program areas, including:

Snapshot Tour participant Marco Cecala gets to know the children of Saber y Gracia, a CoEd project school.

Our Results

To date, approximately 784 people have traveled to Guatemala on CoEd project tours. 100% percent of people who go on CoEd’s project tours share what they’ve learned with others within the year following their trip. 100% of teachers in our School to School Partnerships say that their students plan to participate in some sort of volunteering as a result of the increased awareness imparted by the program.