July 8, 2017
Estamos en Guatemala!! We’re all here and excited for our new adventure. We went for a walk in the beautiful city of Antigua today and are looking forward to participating in a Mayan wedding and visiting some Mayan ruins tomorrow.
July 11, 2017
Hola familias! It is the end of day 4. We’ve had an action-packed couple of days filled with endless fun and adventure! Yesterday we met the children that we are going to be working with for the remainder of the program. We really enjoyed getting to know them and playing with them at recess. It’s safe to say our Spanish is rapidly improving! Then we were able to visit a chocolate factory and enjoy some Guatemalan chocolate with locals. Muy delicioso!
We were also fully immersed in the culture through witnessing a faux-Guatemalan wedding, exploring ancient ruins, getting a lesson in chocolate-making, and listening to a fantastic guest speaker on the history of Guatemala. As you can see, your kids are busy, busy, busy!
One of our top cultural shocks has been the food. We have had a wide variety of Guatemalan meals, which consist of rice, chicken, and some of the most delicious fruit! Tuesday morning, we woke up bright and early to enjoy a few hours with the children. After lunch, we hopped into the van and headed for San Andres, which is a beautiful city surrounding multiple mountains. Although the winding paths had us traveling up many hills, the views were worth the aching calves. Back at the GLA home base, the GLA kids are getting ready for a well-deserved rest.
Enjoy the photos! Love, Lexi and Kate
July 13, 2017
Yesterday, we all headed out on an hour drive to the forested area of Guatemala. After a bumpy ride on the back of a pickup truck, we reached the ziplining platform. We ziplined through the clouds high above the ground. Later in the day we visited the mall with Walmart and McDonald’s and got wifi for the first time since Antigua!
Today we went to service and worked on painting a school and teaching English. After lunch we went to the hot springs. The drive was scary with many curves in offroads as we traveled up a mountain to arrive at the hot springs. Once we got there, we got to swim in naturally heated water that had a green tint to it. After that, we headed back to Home Base and tried traditional tamales for dinner.
After dinner, we took part in an interesting activity regarding our personality and leadership type. Individuals were categorized into 1 of 4 quadrants. These quadrants consisted of relationship masters, architects & analysis, spontaneous motivators, and drivers. For example, while spontaneous motivators were characterized as energetic and headstrong, architects & analysis individuals were viewed as wise and thoughtful. After discovering that I was an architect, I realized how the actions I did during the day coincided with my personality quadrant. This activity truly exemplified how well rounded this trip, in general, is. We have taught others to learn, but also discover crucial, thought provoking traits about ourselves.
– Aryaa, Anna, Jolie
July 14, 2017
FINAL BLOG 🙁
As we say good bye to the friends we have made in the last fourteen day, the final students awaiting their late flight would like to reflect on the amazing memories we’ve made. Last night we participated in our final activity to express our gratitude and love towards each other. At the end of the activity it was obvious we were very sad to see each other go.
Throughout these past two weeks we’ve learned so many new things about ourselves, our peers, culture, and the environment around us. Through the experiences and activities we’ve done, we’ve pushed through challenging situations that have put us outside our comfort zone and led us to be more self aware people. Every individual has discovered something unique and important about themselves. Adventuring through the busy streets of Antigua to the dirt roads and farms of rural Xela allowed us to fall in love with the incredible culture of Guatemala.
This transformation within us wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing people we are lucky to call our mentors. Sydney, Allie, Julia- thank you for your advice, support, patience, kind words, the endless laughs, and the infinite lessons you’ve taught us. We will never forget you and the endless thought-provoking conversations we’ve been through on this journey.
Last, but definitely not least, thank you to the drivers and all the support staff. To Nayo, Diego, and Tono, thank you for keeping us safe and transporting us all over the country. Nayo- thank you for sharing your inspiring and personal story. ¡Muchas gracias por todo!
To end this final reflection, none of us will ever forget this amazing trip and we are so thankful we took part in it.
We out- hasta luego 🙂
- Aryaa, Jolie, Marley, Maya, and Victoria