Ian Zimmermann

Ian found his calling as a student leader. As Class President throughout his four-year high school career, he championed ethics, financial sustainability and equity. He rallied his peers around budget cuts that would affect teachers and course offerings as well as organized the most affordable and highest attended prom in over 20 years. Ian was later elected as Speaker of the House as part of New Hampshire’s YMCA Student Government where, in the words of his advisor, he “was an eloquent speaker who mesmerized his audience by the sheer volume of information he possessed.” Ian also channels his voice through his band, Modo Forte, which has won awards, released a CD, and performed numerous benefit shows.


On things I will miss and things I won’t

As my time in Nebaj quickly comes to an end – just 4 short days until I leave – I’m left forced to think about the upcoming transition back into my old life. Call it reverse culture-shock or what you will, many basic things will…

24 April, 2010

Spanish Language Milestone

Not a doubt in the world, my Spanish language abilities have improved dramatically since arriving in Guatemala a little over five months ago. But occasionally, I still think “god, I’ve been in this country for so long, yet there are so many words I simply…

09 March, 2010

Coffee in Guatemala

Of all the possible skills I thought I might be able to learn while living in Guatemala, using an espresso machine never ranked very high. But that is where expectations could be deceiving.Helen, another volunteer with Soluciones Comunitarias in Nebaj, brought a small espresso machine…

12 January, 2010

El café

Of all the possible skills I thought I might be able to learn while living in Guatemala, using an espresso machine never ranked very high. But that is where expectations could be deceiving.

Helen, another volunteer with Soluciones Comunitarias in Nebaj, brought a small espresso machine back from the States so that El Descanso, a small restaurant and favorite hangout place of gringos passing through town, could improve its coffee options (currently, they fill a big container of instant coffee).

12 January, 2010

Malnutrition and Education in Guatemala

This post by Fellow, Ian Zimmermann has been cross-posted from the Current TV News Blog. Q: What are you first impressions? How does your new home compare to where you live in the US? What an amazing place! I grew up in a small New…

22 December, 2009

Perroquia/Las Pacayas

One of our major projects in Guatemala is to support Soluciones Comunitarias, an NGO which trains Guatemalans to sell health related products such as reading glasses, water purifiers, and vegetable seeds. This week, we spent two (long) days traveling around northern Quiche and I produced the following video to document our journey:

17 December, 2009

Las Cataratas

Complimenting Zuleika’s blog post from last week, we spent this Monday in a town passed Vi Chibala called Santa Averina doing publicity for a campaign for Soluciones Comunitarias (we do publicity a few days before returning for a campaign when we bring the water purifiers,…

30 November, 2009


Feeling the part of an expert, I’ve decided to make a simple guide explaining how to come in contact with Guatemalans that have lived and worked in the States.

1. Go to Guatemala
2. Be white

13 November, 2009

El Instituto

“Touch your head…head…touch your ears…ears…now jump…” About 30 minutes ago, I finished teaching my first ever foreign language class. Sure, teaching English isn’t as impressive as some other language, but the class was exhilarating nonetheless. School is on vacation this time of year in Guatemala,…

09 November, 2009

Valhalla Farm

s Were I to be handed a five hundred dollar disability pension check from my job as a paramedic, I might not immediately think to move to Guatemala and start planting macadamia trees. This is why I wasn’t the founder of the Valhalla Farm. The…

27 October, 2009

Journal Excerpt – 10/10/09 – Climbing Volcano Pacaya

“…After passing through what appeared it must be the last bit of civilization before the volcano, we came across this covered, but open-air shelter filled with over 20 men — as well as a few children holding marshmallows up to the bus window trying to…

12 October, 2009

A Day at the Market

“Ask 6 tomato vendors how much a pound of tomatoes costs. What is the disparity in pricing?” This is one of over a dozen questions on a single sheet of paper we were handed in the main Antigua market. Beck, our Antigua contact with Social…

07 October, 2009

Day Recap: David Abernethy, Nathaniel Whittemore

David Abernethy, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Stanford, was introduced by Abby Falik as one of the single most important people in engaging her in global development. He described development in terms of different groups; personal development focuses on our capacity to handle problems…

23 September, 2009

Guns Aren’t for Killing?

When I keep seeing these videos of guns rights activists outside of Obama health care rallies my stomach twists into knots. Sure, Second Amendment activists at these events haven’t yet been acting criminally, but I can’t help but feel that we take for granted our…

20 August, 2009

Oh, The People We Meet…

I think I’m probably not the only one who meets a new group of people and tries to create associations between individuals in this new group and people who I’m already familiar with. For example, I walk into a room where I don’t know anyone…

29 July, 2009

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Ian Zimmermann