31 days in Guatemala can go very fast or very slow. Many exciting new things have happened since the day we touched down. Now looking back and seeing images of those days reminds me of how lucky I am to have such an extraordinary group of Fellows learning and working here in my homeland. They are truly exceptional and have overcome so many challenges. The beginning of an adventure like this is not easy for anyone. With that in mind, I want to share some pictures to recognize those first impressions and celebrate those memories looking towards the future of our time here in Guatemala.
After the second day in country, the Fellows started living in the town of Santo Tomas Milpas Altas, Sacatepequez with individual home-stay families. Fellows traveled early mornings from their house to Antigua Guatemala everyday in a camioneta to attend 4 hours of one-on-one spanish instruction and various activities in the afternoons, such as discussions on economic development and current events, news article sharing, non-profit organization and school visits, project training and others. Fellows also had the oportunity to meet groups of entrepreneurial women working with Soluciones Comunitarias and shadow them during a publicity campaign in the comunity of La Esperanza, Escuintla. A few days later they returned to help with a free eye exam campaign and expand access to products that improve the health of poor people. Also during the month of October the Fellows got the chance to hike up the active Pacaya volcano (2750 mts) where they roasted marshmellows over lava; On another excursion the Fellows bathed in the water of the Pacific Ocean and contemplate the black sand beach of Monterico, Santa Rosa.
Since the beginning of November the Fellows have been divided into two regions, where they are working with distinct NGO’s, all dedicated to education and youth. Fellows are helping to contribute with their own initiatives as well as working together to design an educational website for students in those regions of Guatemala.
Warm saludos from Guatemala