Showing posts from September, 2018

¡Hola de Guatemala!

¡Hola de Guatamala! My first few weeks here have been absolutely incredible. The first twelve days of the program served as an orientation to help ease us into things and get to know each other. For this, we stayed at an eco-hotel on Lake Atitlan. It was a quaint place overlooking the beautiful waters and the lush green mountains on the opposite side of the lake. For those two weeks, we ate food served by the lovely staff of Uxlabil (the eco-hotel), attended Spanish school often (my Spanish is coming along, but I´ve still got a ways to go...), attended seminars asking some base questions about what development is and whose job it is to develop whom, and had free time in San Juan, the small town on our side of the lake.

One of the most fascinating things I got to do in San Juan was take a textile tour, where I learned all about how cotton is produced and turned into sellable products. I got to try spinning cotton too, and let me tell you, it was not as easy as they made it look. Anoth…

Let the Journey Commence

Offensively early on Monday morning, I'll be heading off to Guatemala with fourteen other teenagers and two leaders for the beginning of seven months full of learning, personal development, and a once in a lifetime experience. The journey, however, has already started. In preparation for the year, I've read a few books, including Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, and Half the Sky by Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. I would highly recommend all three of these books. Each one resonated deeply with me and got me asking some important questions: How reliable is our culture's narrative about who we are and how we should live? At what point do we have to assume responsibility for our own ignorance? How can we assist in creating meaningful and culturally respectful social and economic change in developing countries? These are just some of the many questions that I hope to find some answers to over the course of the year, albeit pro…