Tag Archives: guatemala

Meet our newest volunteer, Sarah!

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Sarah Lewis is from New Jersey and a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey with a degree in Psychology and minor in Public Health. She intends to pursue an advanced degree in Public Health (eventually), but meanwhile she’s volunteering with Voces y Manos! Get to know her below.  

What inspired you to work in Guatemala, and specifically with Voces y Manos? I am very passionate about global social justice and public health issues and intend to study these issues in the future. I also have previous volunteer experience in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Peru. I worked with an amazing organization in Nicaragua called Outreach360, so I searched for another organization with similar values. I loved that Voces y Manos supports youth in creating their own projects, rather than sending in volunteers to create projects. No one knows the community better than a member of the community themselves.

How did you get involved with Voces y Manos? I searched “public health internships Guatemala” on Google and went immediately to the sixth or seventh page – I wanted to work with a smaller, yet well-established organization. I found Voces y Manos’ website and loved their values and type of work. I applied, and now here I am!

What do you do when you’re not volunteering? I am obsessed with yoga! I’ve been practicing for the past five years and teaching for three. If you can’t find me, I’m probably in a handstand somewhere. I also enjoy reading and writing.

What’s next after Voces y Manos? After spending a week home in New Jersey, I will be traveling to Chile to teach English with the government-run program English Opens Doors until the end of November. I also applied to the Peace Corps and, if all goes well, would be leaving next February for the Dominican Republic as a literacy volunteer. If not, I’ll see where life takes me.  

What would you tell someone who’s thinking about volunteering abroad? Do your research! There are a lot of organizations out there, and they vary in quality. First, identify your own values. If you don’t know much about international non-profit organizations, read about them! Here’s a great place to start. I also recommend the book A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristoff and Carol WuDunn. Then – this is the research part – find an organization that matches those values and holds themselves accountable for their work. Great organizations can be tough to find, but it’s important if you really want to make an impact with your work. Once you’ve chosen an organization, go for it!! Traveling abroad can seem scary, but it’s rewarding and transformative. And once you travel abroad, go with the flow. Life as a volunteer abroad is anything but predictable.

 

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Listening to the Community

This past summer, Voces y Manos partnered with the USF School of Nursing and ASECSA (Asociación de Servicios Comunitarios de Salud) in Guatemala to organize community health members in Rabinal, Guatemala, illuminating the health needs of the community. The result was a framework for transforming findings into action.

Citizens of Rabinal are in a more dire need of health care than ever before. Over the last few years, a non-governmental organization called Funcafé provided health care on a rotating basis to the various communities in the surrounding area. With this service, people in Rabinal got a medical visit once a month. Unfortunately, this program was recently eliminated due to lack of funding.

Additionally, Centro de Salud, the community clinic in the center of town, is largely unaffordable for most patients and medical supplies are very low. Given that these services have been affected so greatly by a lack of funding, Voces y Manos team wanted to see how our team could have the biggest positive impact on health for those living in Rabinal.

Recognizing this pressing need for health care, we combined forces with Linda V. Walsh, a professor from the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, to hold community-wide health assemblies in Rabinal. The purpose of these assemblies was to identify critical gaps in the health system and to determine how Voces y Manos can partner with local organizations to fill these gaps.

“The goal that Michael, Josh, Jessica, Amy and I had was to really listen to what the community members identified as health needs that Voces y Manos could possibly address in a partnership with them,” said Professor Walsh.

Furthermore, Voces y Manos wanted to ensure that a health partnership with the people of Rabinal would be culturally relevant and appropriate, benefiting all those involved.

“All too often, well-meaning people go into the developing world and do their own assessments, then tell the communities what interventions the visitors think are needed,” Walsh said.  “ Who knows better about perceived needs than those who live and work in a community?”

With this in mind, Voces y Manos welcomed a wide variety of perspectives, including both lay health workers as well as public health professionals. To this end, Voces y Manos enlisted the help of ASECSA to recruit health promoters, traditional midwives, doctors, nurses, and nutrition specialists from throughout the region.  While perspectives differed in many regards, a common theme identified was the dramatic impact of budget cuts on community health.  Given the severity of these cuts, all assembly participants recognized the increased the need for traditional medicine.

“What came across very strongly in both the community members’ group and the agency participants’ group was that the current economical forces prevent individuals from having access to even the most commonly used pharmaceutical agents,” Walsh said. “A return to traditional Mayan medicine reflects respect for the non-Western medicine approach to health and healing, and also provides a cost effective way to prevent and treat disease.”

Now that the assembly findings have been compiled, Voces y Manos turns its attention to developing projects that will address the identified needs. In December, the Voces y Manos team will return to Rabinal to resume dialogue with assembly participants. First, the assembly participants will reconvene to review key findings from the assemblies. Next, they will brainstorm viable solutions. Finally, a small subgroup of the participants will form a local community advisory board that will chart a 4-year plan for creating long-term community health care solutions that will be culturally relevant to Rabinal.

“I am a believer that community members are the experts in identifying needs and potential interventions that would be in concert with the beliefs and rituals of the culture,” Walsh said.

Voces y Manos also hopes that by involving the community in creating this new program, we have created a sustainable option for health care in Rabinal.

“Another factor in including the community from the beginning is that the community response is essential for sustainability of initiatives,” Walsh said. “There is a history of numerous initiatives that end up being short-terms fixes without any follow through due to lack of acceptability in the community and/or lack of economic sustainability.  This approach is also necessary in the developed world.  Particularly in communities representing vulnerable populations, community involvement is essential for bringing about necessary change.”

Although the eventual outcome of these meetings is yet to be determined, Voces y Manos is confident that by involving the community at each step of the way, the end result will truly meet the needs of the local community and set the foundation for sustainability.

-Allison Van Vooren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scholarship Students at USAID

The group getting ready to go in

This summer, Voces y Manoshad the opportunity to meet privately with USAID at their office in Guatemala City. The purpose of the meeting was to present our Scholarship Program to the Health & Education Department, and to discuss opportunities for future support. Rather than simply explaining our work, we decided to bring three scholarship recipients to demonstrate how our Scholarship Program has impacted students directly.

Although it was their first time formally presenting to a national organization, our students did an excellent job relaying their personal stories in a professional setting. Julia Gomez Gonzales explained how she has managed to continue her education and service to her community alongside supporting her own family as a single mother. Marcario Vasquez Reyes displayed his fervor to become a leader in his own community while currently pursuing a teaching career through his scholarship. Edelman Ramirez, a medical student in Cuba, expressed how his participation with Voces y Manos inspired him to pursue medicine in order to improve health for those most marginalized. We are extremely honored that our students presented on our behalf, and hope that this meeting will open the door for a potential partnership with USAID.

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Yo Soy

As the final week of work with the youth approached, I felt I needed more time to learn more about my students.  However, we only had two more days of classes and the despedida left to share with the youth.  It was at the beginning of this week that I experienced one of the most powerful moments as a teacher.  One of the final assignments planned for the students was to write an “I am” poem in efforts to create a connection between the students and those who support the scholarship program.   With this in mind, Sunthree and I prepared sample poems to model the assignment for the students.  

It was through these poems, that after five weeks of work with the youth of Rabinal, I knew I had formed a deep and genuine connection with my students.  As I read my poem out loud, I sensed that they could identify with the meaning of, “piez descalzos y trenzas apretadas” with “Yo soy de ojos profundos y de piel morena.”  In the 20 years I’ve lived in the United States I have rarely been able to share my experience of growing up in a rural pueblo in Guerrero, Mexico and felt anyone truly related to my story until I shared this poem with them. In a minute my students learned more about me than they had in five weeks, as I myself learned much more about my students in that afternoon than I did throughout the duration of the program.   The poems reflect the culture, traditions, his-tory and hers too, the profound respect for mother earth, the fight and struggle that the students inherited from their parents and their Mayan ancestors.   

What follows is a collection of our voices, which for a moment became one:

“Yo soy del fogón de la mañana y de la noche

Del maíz y el arado”  -Cynthia

“Y del dulce olor del café

 despertando con la luz del amanecer que alumbra por la ventana cada mañana” -Sunthree

“Soy de mi hogar humilde y acogedor

Y lleno de amor y cariño” -Selvin

“Yo soy del ruido del rio

Quien con su fuerza levanta mi esperanza” -Horacio

“Yo soy de ropas remendadas y de sangre puro

De los Panganes y de los Cuxum” -Maynor

“Yo soy de piel morena y de dientes picados

Y De sentimiento tierno” -Estefany

“De enojos infernales

Yo soy de mariposita de mil colores”  -Glenda

“Yo soy de panima’

Ri luwar ke taq ri Itzel chikop” -Juan de Jesus

“De sufrimiento del conflicto armado interno

Y de esfuerzo del trabajo en el campo.” -Griselda

“Yo soy de cipres

Quien bailan la marimba pura.” -Mardoqueo

“De ojos café y de tristeza y de soledad

Yo soy del quetzal y el coman” -Benjamin

“Soy de mente desplegada y vista autentica

Yo soy de esos momentos gratos y grandiosos que nadie

Olvida” -Dinora

Yo soy Cynthia, Sunthree, Selvin

Yo soy Horacio, Maynor, Estefany

Yo soy Glenda, Juan de Jesus, Griselda,

Yo soy  Mardoqueo, Benjamin y  Dinora

-Dedicated to the students of the Instituto Nueva Esperanza, who shared so much with us all, Maltyoox.

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Meet the summer 2011 volunteers!

Meet the volunteers for the 2011 summer Guatemala trip!

Sunthree Acosta

Summer 2011 Rabinal VolunteerSunthree Acosta is a Chicana educator who teaches Intensive Literacy and Reading Enrichment in South Central Los Angeles, the land saw her grow into a passionate woman.  As a Chicana who grew in Watts, Sunthree overcame many boundaries to earn a Bachelors Degree of Arts in English and Master’s Degree in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.  From her small classroom, she advocates for social justice and educational equity for people of color. She eagerly took the opportunity to travel with Voces y Manos to Guatemala in an effort to gain a personal understanding regarding the indigenous roots of her people.   Although Sunthree arrived in a different country than the land that gave birth to her ancestors, Mexico Querido, this adventure has expanded her knowledge about the indigenous suffering, deculturalization, customs, beliefs, and resistance.  Sunthree expresses that she is forever grateful with the people in Rabinal for opening their homes and hearts, as these actions enable her to learn so much regarding the indigenous struggle for social justice.

Amy Yam

summer volunteer medical student guatemalaAmy Yam’s history with Voces y Manos began in 2008 as an undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego.  Her previous volunteer work in Honduras, combined with her interest in health, drew her to classmates Michael Bakal and Jessica Nicholas to form the organization.  Amy’s first experience working in Rabinal with Voces y Manos not only affirmed her desires to stay actively involved in the organization, but also to pursue a career in medicine.  Now as a medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, she has remained an active member of the Voces y Manos Executive Committee as well as an active participant of the summer volunteer program in Rabinal.  This is Amy’s third time in Rabinal, and she is ecstatic to return to the communities that Voces y Manos serves.

 

Cynthia Garcia

summer 2011 volunteer teacherCynthia first heard about Voces y Manos two years ago and was immediately interested in volunteering with the project’s youth component.   However, it was not till this summer that she was able to travel to Rabinal, Guatemala with the rest of the Voces y Manos team.  Cynthia is an Indigenous Chicana educator from California, where she grew up in a socio-economically disadvantaged community.   She is not foreign to the rural life and its hardships, she  grew up in a small pueblo in Guerrero, Mexico and has been able to relate and identify with the youth’s experiences in Rabinal.   Cynthia is thrilled and feels blessed to have had the opportunity to  travel to Guatemala  and learn about the history, culture, struggles and the people’s continued resistance against oppressive conditions.  Cynthia has found a home and a family here and is greatful to her host family.    She is inspired by the people of Rabinal to continue her work as an indigenous educator in California.

 

Josh Hoeger

Josh medical student volunteer guatemalaJosh is a 23 year old, once-and-future student with a penchant for the finer things in life (a bowl of atol de helote and a stick of sugar cane). He joined Voces y Manos in the summer of 2009, and has spent the last two years learning about health in the underserved and marginalized communities of Rabinal. During this time, Josh has been deeply inspired by the Guatemalan health care workers and students with whom Voces y Manos collaborates, and he is dedicated to continuing efforts to improve the quality of life in Rabinal.

Josh is currently applying to medical school and is becoming accustomed to working on applications by candlelight, during Rabinal’s frequent power outages. Despite this being his second Voces y Manos bio (and second summer working in Rabinal), he is still unused to writing in the third person.

Michael Bakal

volunteer educator guatemalaMichael Bakal first travelled to Rabinal in 2007 as a volunteer with the American Jewish World Service.  The opportunity to work with and learn from the students, teachers, and staff of Fundación Nueva Esperanza was a transformational experience for him, so much so that inspired him to co-found Voces y Manos with Amy Yam and Jessica Nicholas in 2008 during their senior year at UC San Diego.

Since 2008, Michael has acted as the lead instructor for Voces y Manos’ youth leadership program, and overseen the growth and development of Voces y Manos’ scholarship program.  In 4 years of close collaboration with Fundación Nueva Esperanza, Michael has seen the scholarship grow from a 5-student pilot initiative to a comprehensive scholarship program reaching 33 students.

Outside of his work with Voces y Manos, Michael spent the past two years working as a high school biology teacher at Animo Locke #3 Charter High in Watts, California.  At Locke #3, Michael worked with an inspiring team of social justice educators, and amazing students.  Although it was a difficult personal decision to leave the Locke #3 community, Michael resigned from Locke in 2011 in order to be able to work full time for Voces y Manos.

Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Bilingual teaching certificate from UCLA.  In his free time, Michael enjoys playing basketball and the conga drums.

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Week 3: The Mayan Ceremony, and Starting to work on Community Projects

Our third week in Rabinal began with a traditional Mayan Ceremony.  At 5:00 AM on Sunday, July 10th, our group of 5 volunteers, 10 current youth participants, and 8 former youth participants met in the dim lighting of Rabinal’s plaza to ascend to the sacred site of Kaj’yup, where the ceremony was to take place.

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Voces y Manos students and volunteers together at the top of Kaj Yup

After an hour of hiking, we arrived our destination, where, according to legend, Rabinal Achi (the Patron saint of Rabinal) fought off Varon Qui’che (the patron saint of the Qui’che people) gaining the Achi people their independence.  To this day, Kaj’yup remains one of the most important cultural and spiritual locations in Rabinal.  For me, the Mayan ceremony is always a special part of our program, as it is one of the few times when past scholarship recipients and current participants can get together to motivate one another to continue their academic pursuits and affirm their commitments to betting their communities.

Once our entire group had arrived the top of the mountain, our guide, Profesor Manuel, led us to the top of a small pyramid.  There, he lit a few candles to request permission for us to start the ceremony, then addressed the group: “It is privilege for me to be back here with you all.  Many of you I know because I was your teachers, for others, it is a privilege to meet you for the first time.  I would like to invite everyone to be fully present in this ceremony.  Being present does mean only being here physically, but also to be present mentally, even though it is only 6:00 in the morning.”

guatemala volunteer program

Josh Hoerger and Cynthia Garcia listening to Professor Manuel as he discusses the Mayan ceremony

Manuel went on to explain that the Mayan Ceremony is not a religious ceremony but a spiritual one, and he welcomed people of all different faiths to fully participate in the event.  For the next hour, Manuel explained to the students about the various Nahuales, guardians that comprise the Mayan Calendar.  Embedded in his descriptions were countless life lessons: Appreciation for what one has in life, respect for nature, the importance of community, and the necessity to maintain and develop one’s cultural identity.

As the ceremony drew to a close, I looked into the faces of each of the students who were present, and felt a great sense of gratitude for the community that we have developed over the past four years.  Represented in our group were students from all four years of the program: some who are on the verge of graduating, others who are just beginning their careers in higher education.  All the students are united by a vision of bettering their communities through education, and direct service to their communities.

This unity, and this vision of building community carried over into the next week.  It was with a mixture of nervousness, and excitement that students received the news that in week 3, they would begin the process of developing community projects.  On Monday, we trained students in how to conduct interviews, and on Tuesday, 2-person teams of students dispersed throughout the city to interview the various organizations involved in health promotion in Rabinal.  Initial nervousness was overcome when students were welcomed by organization representatives.  Immediately following the interviews, many of the students began thinking about the types of community projects they might want to undertake, and which organizations they might turn to for support.

The following day, Wednesday, teams of students travelled to their home communities identify crucial community health needs, and the assets they can utilize within their communities to address these needs.  Conducting interviews with their fellow community members, students were truly in their element.  Many of the students spoke to their fellow community members in Achi, translating for us volunteers after each interview.  Neighbors, friends and family members welcomed the students into their homes, and delighted in the fact that these youth were taking proactive measures to address the community’s most pressing needs.

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Students Maynor & Mardoquello take off for their community interviews in Nimacabaj

As the students were preparing for their own community projects by listening to the perspectives of community members, so too are we preparing for our next phase of engagement in health promotion.  As we have discussed below, this year marks a turning point in the work of Voces y Manos, as we temporarily suspend our direct health programs (the community health fairs) to first listen to the voices of community members and partner organizations, in an effort to guide the future directions of our work.

When we were not working with the youth, we have been working closely with our partner organization ASECSA to lay the framework for the “Listening to the Community Assembly”, scheduled to take place next week.  In this assembly, health promoters, and traditional midwives, nursing students, and doctors, youth leaders, and community elders, will come together to share their perspectives on health in Rabinal.  We do not know what will be the outcome of these assemblies, but we are excited to start the process, and eager to put into practice one of the key lessons we have been emphasizing with our students: before undertaking any initiative to promote health, one must begin by listening to the perspectives of community members.

Written by Michael Bakal

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Michael Bakal instructs students on their community projects

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Sunthree Acosta and Michael Bakal working with their student pair, Benjamin & Glenda

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Amy Yam works with her student pair, Mardoquello & Maynor, on a reforestation project

guatemala volunteer group

Cynthia visits the Biotopo de Quetzal (a national park dedicated to the national bird of Guatemala)

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Volunteers planning their lesson plan for the day

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Alicia’s project

Hello:
I send you a cordial greeting wishing you success in your daily work, and I hope you have a good vacation.
The reason for this letter is to tell you a little about the project in San Rafael. I wantto tell you that in San Rafael I carried out the project of planting vegetables withmembers of the community and the Cocode (mayor). We planted radishes, cilantro, onionsand chard, and we have already harvested the radishes, cilantro and chard. For this reason the people who participated are happy with this planting. At this time, wehave harvested the third planting and now we will begin the fourth. So, the peopleare happy because they now have something for their families to consume. We alsohave harvested the first planting of the onions, which is a very delicate product thattakes a lot of time to harvest.
I would also like to tell you that I am very happy and grateful to Caritas (A Catholic organization in the community) becauseit helped us a lot with the seeds, and also the technician helped us with the firstplanting and gave us an explanation of how to sow the seeds. I am also grateful toYanira, who is a very humble, kind and hardworking person because she helpedus overcome the doubts we had about the planting when the agronomist was notin Rabinal. I tell you this even though it might bother you to not see photos of thepeople harvesting the radishes, cilantro, onions and chard. This is because I’ve hadproblems with the camera, and I tell you this so you’re not bothered by not seeingphotos of the people harvesting the vegetables.
I would like to tell you that I am happy with the people who participated and the Cocode in the community because I’ve observed the people’s interest in having abalanced diet. We’re about to finish the project because we don’t have any more ofthe seeds that the agronomist from Caritas gave to us, but we continue to talk to Caritas so they will give us more seeds.
I say goodbye now, hoping that it makes you happy that we have carried out thisproject with people from the community of San Rafael. May God bless you and pourout many blessings over you.
-Lourdes Alicia Román Chapaz

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Update from Anshu!

Buenos!  My name is Anshu Abhat and I was fortunate to participate in the 2008 Voces y Manos summer trip to Rabinal, Guatemala.  I am currently taking a year in between my 3rd and 4th year of medical school at the University California, San Diego (UCSD) to pursue a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy at Harvard University.  My experience with Voces y Manos and the PRIME-Health Equity program at UCSD were important influences that led me to pursue an MPH.
Voces y Manos allowed me to work with the health community in Rabinal, Guatemala to understand how a community can come together and achieve goals related to public health.

I am continually impressed by Voces y Manos’ relationship with the youth in the community.  I am now seeing my Guatemalan friends become nurses, physicians, and leaders in their community.  Those I met in Guatemala continue to inspire me, and I would love to return to Rabinal after finishing medical school.
I hope to translate some my experiences in Guatemala to work with local communities in California.  I hope this work can eventually be translated into policies that affect underserved communities in the US and eventually abroad.
Ahhh vaya!
-Anshu

medical student volunteer

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Returning to Rabinal

It’s easy for me to get caught up in the beauty of Rabinal, Guatemala.  The vibrant marketplace, the humble bystanders that wish you good morning as you pass by, the soft, melodious beats of the marimba floating in the air, the lush hills and vast cornfields that encircle the center of town… It had been two years since I had left this special community, and upon returning to Rabinal this summer, I fell right back into the colorful culture.  It was amazing to feel welcomed again by the smiling faces of the community and see how motivated everyone was to work with Voces y Manos.  Although this year I was only able to stay in country for two weeks, I had an incredible time preparing the health fairs and youth scholarship program.  Seeing these projects move into full effect, I left Rabinal once again on an incredibly high note.

On the plane ride home, however, my feelings started to change as I began reading “Memorias de las Masacres de Rio Negro” by Jesús Tecú Osorio, a survivor of the massacres that occurred in Rabinal during the Guatemalan Civil War in the 1980s.  Although I had been previously aware of Rabinal’s history, reading his personal experience was the most intimate, thorough, and uncensored perspective of the war I had ever received.  His vivid descriptions of the slavery, torture and murder that took place had a profound effect on me.  I came back from Guatemala suddenly with an intense anger for what had happened to Rabinal.  I was confused by how I could feel so positive while in country, and at the same time, know of the brutality that took place, and see the current afflictions of extreme poverty as a result of this tragic history.  Why did I tend to paint this wonderful picture of Rabinal for myself?  Was I simply looking through rose-tinted glasses at the community?  Should I be feeling guilty for feeling the way I feel?  These are questions that to this day I continue to struggle with as I reflect upon my experiences in Rabinal.

Nevertheless, as conflicting as they may be, I know that these feelings altogether compel me to remain involved with Voces y Manos.  This organization allows me to channel my passions constructively toward projects that seek to establish a more just society.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people of Rabinal- for what they have gone through, for what they currently face, and for what they are determined to improve in their community.  Through the adversities, they have developed into an even stronger and more empowered society, determined to preserve their indigenous culture and abolish the health and economic disparities they face.  It is through their struggle that the true beauty of Rabinal shines.  It has been a privilege to work in solidarity with the community, and through Voces y Manos, I am determined to continue growing with Rabinal to achieve these goals.

~Amy Yam, 1st Year Medical Student at Medical College of Wisconsin

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Home Stays and Health Fairs

Our home is enveloped by cornfields

With endless mountains spanning the horizon

Where the roosters wake us early

Well before the sunrise

My sisters wash beside the outdoor kitchen

Using the cornstalks as shower curtains

My mom cooks Atoll, frijoles y tortillas

Fuel for our morning walk to the city

Thinking back on Rabinal, it’s difficult to describe a typical day or isolate a specific occurrence that stands out as more memorable than the others. The weeks all seem to form a collective experience that radiates in my smile. There were health discussions with local doctors, NGO’s, and nurses who came from the U.S.A. to speak with us and observe our program. There were day trips to the waterfall and to our student’s school, Fundacion Nueva Esperanza, where they displayed their organic fields and explained their compost projects. I had the opportunity to shadow local health practitioners, to see the diagnosis of Dengue and to give “hi-fives” to countless crying kids who had just received vaccinations. But mostly when I think of Rabinal I am reminded of our ten students who came to class Monday through Friday. I distinctly remember their initial apprehension to conduct communal interviews and my personal pride as I watched them gain confidence throughout the process. Their commitment to the program, to their community and to each other was deeply inspiring, and in the five weeks I spent with them we formed a bond that I will work hard to maintain. These were the days that sent me home exhausted, that now feed me with memories but leave me hungry to return.

Our afternoons were spent helping the family to build an indoor kitchen

We brought dirt and rocks from the river with our hoarse

My brother, Sergio, once noticed that I smiled with the rocks on my back

My aching body welcomed the evening showers

“Are you enjoying yourself?” he asked me

I responded with a grin

“Where I’m from we buy dirt at the store. I like this better”

We got back home just in time for dinner

The rest of the night was spent enjoying the rainfall

It calmed me in a way I rarely appreciate

It’s a rush to slowdown

– Daniel Ezroj,  1st year medical student

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