Living in Guatemala has been an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. After spending three months here, I can safely say that I will not return to Vancouver the same. Completely humbled by the simplicity of life and the sincerity of the people, I realize that life can be just as good even without the luxuries of what we’re used to in North America.
The people I have met have been amazing and welcoming. I have been incredibly touched by their hospitality, their desire to learn English to communicate with me, as well as their patience in helping me learn Spanish. I now understand that everyone is the same no matter what race, origin, or what we do. Though Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, there is a lot of love and a sense of security that I don’t even have in Canada. Perhaps it is the warm greeting that you get whenever you walk down the street.
The biggest lesson I learned is to love and to keep loving. I read a book recently called “They Cage the Animals at Night” and it is a true story based on a little boy that continually gets moved around from orphanages to foster homes. He begins to question why he should love those close to him if they keep leaving him. He was told by a friend, “the more it hurts, the more you know how special they were to you. If you never liked someone because you were afraid they’d go away, then you’d never know the joy of their friendship. You would always be alone.” Like many people, I have always struggled with letting people really get to know me, afraid of getting hurt. Guatemala has taught me to open up my heart. As everyone says, if it doesn’t kill you, it will just make you stronger, right?
I love what Project Somos is doing in Guatemala. Not only are they building a children’s village for 50 kids but their biggest motive is to provide a loving family for these children. It is not an orphanage where kids will come and go, rather, it is and will be their home.
Thank you Heather and Greg from Project Somos, for your warm hospitality, for inspiring me and for being such great mentors.
Thank you blog readers, for following my adventures in Guatemala!
Guate, I will be back.