One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Guatemala was to volunteer. For the last two years, I have been passionate about volunteering internationally and giving back to the countries in which I have had the pleasure of visiting. It has inspired me, motivated me and changed me to become the person I am today. And I must admit, I am proud of that fact.
Two years ago, I went on my first volunteer trip with Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) to Costa Rica where I worked at a nursing home for abandoned grandparents (to read posts, click here). Then last April, I traveled to Morocco again with CCS to volunteer at a women’s school and help tutor English. I loved both of these volunteer experiences as they truly changed my life. However after two years of doing volunteer work as a group I wanted to try venturing out on my own. I had traveled abroad alone before yet never for an extended period of time. I felt like there was no time like the present to give it a whirl and truly challenge myself. I just needed to find the right place.
When my son Max started first grade at Burroughs Community School in Minneapolis my opportunity arose. Max’s first grade teacher, Ms. May, just so happens to be married to a Guatemalan man and together they have run a Spanish School called Casa Xelaju and a nearby community center, La Pedrera, for years. My opportunity had come! Guatemala was on my travel list and after falling in love with Costa Rica, I could hardly wait to visit another Central American country, especially one with a vibrant indigenous community, the Mayans.
Photo above of me with my little girls. These three girls are the same age as my daughter Sophia. I adored them and their smiles brightened my soul and warmed my heart.