Guat 2– From the eyes of Alanah

I came to Guatemala expecting opportunities to teach and spread love and positivity. They say to be the change you hope to see in the world, but boy was I wrong. Guatemala has been the one to teach me, spread love to me, and change me. The willingness of our host to bring us into his home with his family, when housing themselves alone is a struggle, has shown us pure generosity. The curiosity of the school kids as they strive to enrich themselves, through conversations rather than a screen, has shown us true learning. The ability of these people to live with a smile wider than you could possibly imagine, without knowing exactly where their next meal will come from, has shown us what’s truly important. Not our rush to acquire wealth, but rather our journey towards loving ourselves and others. Instead of sprinting towards achieving success in a social hierarchy, we should gander towards a life of service for the betterment of our communities. And what I feel is the most impactful take away, that has been embedded in all of these things and everyday life here in Guatemala, is to slow down and be present. As our team has become completely immersed in this culture, we have come to know true love and self growth. With what started as a group of people from all across the country has blossomed into a true family. This environment has allowed this love and openness to flourish. I am confident that we can bring these lessons home as we spread back out across the country and remain a happy family from miles and miles away. We can take these new found insights and introduce a lifestyle of simplicity, hospitality, openness, and joy to our friends and family, hopefully inspiring change in all corners of our country. Though the thought of starting a chain reaction may seem quite ambitious, after this trip I know anything is possible.

-Alanah Baldwin

Ambassador Student- Age 17

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