Stranded Outtatown students return to Canada

March 30, 2020 | Web First
Canadian Mennonite University
Outtatown’s 2019/20 cohort, pictured last September. (Photo courtesy of

Students and staff from Canadian Mennonite University’s Outtatown Discipleship School who were stranded in Guatemala arrived back in their hometowns this past weekend.

Thirty-six students, five leaders and two staff who were awaiting repatriation secured passage on a flight that left Guatemala on Friday afternoon, March 27. They arrived in Quebec that same night and continued to their final destinations the next day.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude, and wish to express our thanks to the Canadian government, particularly the office of Global Affairs, and to the Embassy of Canada in Guatemala for the continuous support and advice they provided throughout this difficult time,” said Renee Willms, Outtatown’s co-director.

“We are also aware that there are Canadians in Guatemala still awaiting repatriation,” Willms added. “Our prayers for safety and a speedy resolution go out to them and their families.”

Students were feeling a mixture of relief and sadness upon arriving back in Canada, according to Tim Cruickshank, Outtatown’s co-director, who was with the group in Guatemala.

“They look forward to reconnecting at home and relaxing there, but they are also aware that this means the end of their Outtatown experience,” Cruickshank said.

“I have been incredibly impressed with how the students have processed this rapidly developing situation,” he added. “They have chosen to embrace this time together, at the end of their program year, and to celebrate the growth in relationships, faith and understanding that has taken place.”

Related story:
Outtatown students stranded in Guatemala

Outtatown’s 2019/20 cohort, pictured last September. (Photo courtesy of

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