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NEWS | July 8, 2019

Newborn Neighbor, New Clothes, New School: Mothers Meet in Guatemala

By Sgt. 1st Class Tony Knouf 207th Public Affairs Detachment

When U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Genesis Pozdiaz, Pozdiaz, a Boston, Massachusetts native with 424th Engineer Company, 412th Theater Engineer Command, found out she would be building a school for annual training, she saw it as a great opportunity to give Guatemalans something else as well - baby clothes.

Site construction of the new Eucalypto school in Huehuetenango, Guatemala was well underway as of July 2, 2019, and Task For Rise, which the 424th Engineer Company is a part of for Beyond the Horizon 19, will oversee it to completion as part of their training exercise,

Beyond the Horizon is a joint training exercise in which U.S. military forces specializing in construction, engineering, and health care train to improve operational readiness and strengthen relationships with ally forces while also providing tangible benefits to the Guatemalan people.

A Guatemalan citizen next door to the school site that Pozdiaz and her were working on  was pregnant when they arrived, and soldiers would periodically check on her throughout the mission. She had just given birth when Pozdiaz decided surprised her with baby clothes for the young child.

In a touching scene, the Soldier handed the new mother item after item while the mother smiled, then accepted the opportunity to hold the baby for a few moments before returning to work on the new school.

The experience has touched Pozdiaz greatly, and the Guatemalan citizen said her mother and grandmother planned to come and make tamales for the Soldiers in the near future in thanks for their kindness.