Our trip to Guatemala was surely incredible and I can’t believe how time has just flown by! In just two short weeks we did a TON of activities, made new friends, learned more about ourselves and our host country. Now that you are back home and back to your normal routines, I hope that you still think about your time in Guatemala and take those ideas that Willy talked about to heart-to do what you are passionate about, find happiness in the little things (like awesome smelling plants!) and remember that time is just a social concept, not something that should run our lives.
But most importantly, I hope that you are challenging yourselves at home and making sure that you are not giving a single story of Guatemala or any other social group and remembering to check your own perspectives of others to prevent a perpetual stereotype of a group/country/people. As GLA has taught us, it is our job to utilize adequate words and express our ideas and opinions knowing both sides of the story, looking at the pros and cons of everything before making a decision. It is also our job as global citizens to promote cultural awareness and acceptance in our own communities, as well as abroad. What we hope is that your time here helped develop you to be true global leaders and using what you have learned to promote unity among people.
But besides the academic portions of the trip, we also have learned a lot about ourselves through the afternoon excursions! Some of us learned to embrace the unexpected and try to look at life through a new lens-whether that was learning how to trust and be brave while zip-lining across the mountains, putting our differences aside while working with the kids at the school, meeting the community members, or being valiant enough to use the bathroom at the weaver’s house on the side of a mountain! I’m sure that each of us gained a bit of confidence somehow, someway, during our time here and sometimes that’s the most valuable thing you can achieve from a trip like this! So next time you are in a difficult or similar situation, I hope you think about how you handled differences, insecurities, debate, and friendship while in Xela.
We hope that you all think of Guatemala and the people here often. The school has finished steps with the multiplication tables painted on the sides, newly painted desks are now in the classrooms and the plastering of the new constructed classroom is complete! Hopefully students will be able to be in that new room soon! I think you’ll be happy to know that the kids loved playing hopscotch and are practicing their letters everyday with the caterpillars that you all repainted. Let’s hope that they continue to play and learn while at recess while we are gone and our work there remains beneficial to the students and teachers.
Although it may have been awhile ago that we were all together at the comfortable home in Xela, your memories and the friendships made here will remain forever! Here at GLA Guatemala, we hope that you are all doing well and going the extra mile in whatever you are passionate about. Keep up the good work!
Some highlights of our trip:
-zip-lining across a waterfall
-talking with Willie (Red Kat Kafe) and asking him to write a book about his life and philosophy
-ordering McFlurries from McDonalds during movie nights
-The boat ride across Lago Atitlan
-laughing with one another all the time and creating special bonds that made us cry at the end of the trip
-Nicole, Ana, Brian + GLA Guatemala staff
Feeling nostalgic? You can experience that same sense of friendship and adventure abroad again! Check out all our new destinations for Summer 2018, or enroll now.