Tina Oms ’19 was in the mountains of Camanchaj, Guatemala when she peered into a dark, desolate hut. The dirt floor was partially covered with a piece of cardboard used as a bed.
Oms was in Guatemala to help build a new home for the woman and her six children who lived in the hut as part of a mission trip through an organization called Salud y Paz.
Oms spent a week in Guatemala last month helping to build the house by mixing cement and transporting tools back and forth. The site was near a clinic, where she helped count pills for the kids that attended the clinic and school. It was a very impoverished area, she said.
“Camanchaj was eight thousand feet above sea level,” she said. “You felt a tired before you were actually tired because of the elevation; but, we got a lot more work done than we had to.”
Oms, who grew up in Mexico, had never been to Guatemala before.
“It was very beautiful and mountainous,” she said. “There were a lot of volcanoes, too – and I even saw one erupt. It was scary but cool.”
Oms said the city was not very large – about the size of Portland, Maine.
“It was a close-knit community,” she said. “Their culture is deep-rooted and you see it everywhere. They are very proud of it.”
A sophomore psychology major and pre-law minor, Oms is heavily involved on campus at Thomas. She is a peer mentor, an Orientation Leader, cross-country member, student philanthropy team member, student senate member and a part of the international club.
“I love being involved. I’ve always been this way,” she said. “I believe that you easily find ways to get involved at Thomas.”
Oms chose Thomas College because the community was welcoming to her and gave her a very good scholarship, she said.
Oms is studying psychology and hopes to one day be a clinical psychologist. She says she wants to help people.