By Malik Sediqzad, St. Louis, MO
If I had to sum up my time in Guatemala in one word, I would use the word extraordinary.
What I mean is that nearly everything I experienced was beyond what I am accustomed to back at home. It was my first time leaving the United States so everything was SO foreign, even going on a plane and going through customs.
Throughout the week I participated in new physical activities that really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, such as pick axing, digging holes, mixing and pouring cement.
I saw the way of life for the community of Charon, and I now can better conceptualize the possibilities that this new school and quality education will provide them.
The custom is for young boys to begin work at about 13 years old, and for young girls to become wives and mothers at a slightly later age. The reason for this is that the opportunity to leave home is incredibly scarce.
During my home visit, I realized that these individuals literally live off of their land. They harvest corn and grow fruits and spices right on their own land.
I think it is very likely that this is a world unknown to people where I’m from. I believe only seeing such things in person can truly allow a person to understand the difference between American poverty, and that of Guatemala.
Another thing I did in Guatemala was witness its beautiful western highlands and bustling cities. Driving through the beautiful mountains was entirely new for me, as my hometown has broad prairies and shallow valleys. I never overcame the amazement that met me with the sight of those vast mountains each day. I equally admired the narrow streets of Antigua and Chichicastenango as we drove and walked through them.
Overall, this trip to Guatemala, my first journey outside of the United States, has furnished me with an unquantifiable amount of new, unforgettable extraordinary memories.
Thank you Globalization Partners for this incredible, unforgettable once in a lifetime experience! It inspired me to travel more and see the world!