6 months

Nearly 6 months ago, I journeyed to Guatemala with International Samaritan, an organization that specifically works with those who live in garbage dump communities. There are several places where I’ve written about life in the garbage dump: here, and here, and here are some of them.  When I left, I knew that more than the effect I would have on the people (through building roofs, working with kids, etc), the transformation in my own life would be immeasurable.

I gave the gift of sweat equity, listening, and shared bread. The people there gave me the gift of shared stories and transformation that still continues to trickle into my daily living. Now, perhaps, Juan Carlos, Andres, or even Juana, has experienced tangible changes in their lives as a result of our interactions. But, how many service trips did the three of them (and all the others) encounter over the last year? Over the last 5 years? Can I say with any assurance that I had an impact on their lives? When all is told, although I helped build a roof and clear a courtyard, those whom I had gone to serve, in fact, served me.

Was this a surprise to me? Not really. Continue reading

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The color of Advocacy in Guatemala

Just an extra post for today. Some sweet pics of Guatemalans and some really insightful comments. Check it out.

Thirdeyemom

A Word in Your Ear, a fantastic travel blog that I adore, started a fun travel and photography challenge called “A Word of the Day”. Basically she lets her dictionary open to a word and voila. That is the challenge. Her recent challenge is “colorful” similar to a recent photo challenge I did.

I adore colors, especially on a gray, dreary day like today. They brighten my mood and make me smile.

These photos were taken back in April in Xela, Guatemala on the International Women’s Day. The entire town was involved in a grand celebration and a huge, colorful parade honoring women and advocating for women’s rights. In a country in which domestic violence against women is a significant, unspoken problem, it was wonderful to witness so many people coming together to share their voice and fight for women’s rights.

Here are some of my favorite colorful pictures…

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