A humanitarian group in Guatemala, partially made up of BYU students, was sent home last week after some of them were held at gunpoint by Guatemalan bandits.
HELP International, a service organization formed by BYU professors and students, withdrew its summer volunteer team at the urging of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, BYU’s Kennedy Center for International Studies and others.
On July 4, three of the HELP International volunteers were hiking a volcano with five native friends when they were held at gunpoint by three men. They were forced to lie down on the ground while the gunmen searched through and stole some of their belongings. One of the gunmen then attempted to sexually assault a volunteer, but the volunteer fought back and escaped.
BYU student Faith Goimarac, a volunteer on the trip, said she backed out of the hike last minute because she didn’t feel well that morning.