Hey everyone, so my time here is Guatemala has just about come to and end, and everything is wrapping up with work and travels down here. My last week here has been absolutely amazing!
Last Tuesday through Friday I traveled to Petén, Guatemala, the North region, and visited Tikal which was a huge Mayan city and is now amazing ruins in the jungle. I traveled with the aunt and three cousins of Rodrigo, who are all visiting from California and are staying here for a month. One of the great things about the trip was the aunt is family friends with a family in Petén whose Dad helped excavate some of the ruins. With that connection we got to experience the ruins with some of the best guides possible. This family grew up around these ruins and jungle and they knew so much information it was amazing. On top of this, one of the adults and family friends took us into the jungle at 4am, and we climbed Temple V to watch the sunrise. It was one of the best sunrises in my life and definitely something I will never forget. After we spent time at the ruins for two days we stopped by another friends house who lives on the near by lake and hung out for an afternoon with him. To our surprise he and his wife had recently rescued a baby spider monkey after a fire in the jungle, so we got to hold it and feed it…it was so cool.
After my trip to Tikal, we had a farewell dinner and party on Saturday night with sonRisas and AIESEC for Karie and I. It was a really fun time spent with friends and I’m glad everyone could come. On Sunday morning, the 9th, I had my last event with sonRisas, the Jornada Medica, or a medical day. I had been helping to plan the event for the last month with the help of sonRisas and another organization Manos de Amor, and the whole event went amazing. We had 5 doctors, 3 dentists, 1 pediatrician, and one optometrist who did check-ups the entire day. Also we had a huge amount of medicine and vitamins that we gave out after the doctors gave recommendations to each patient, then the patients could move to the next station and receive food, clothes, and other materials like pencils, notebooks, etc; all of which were donations. Overall the event gave free medical attention to close to 300-350 adults and children who were in need. It was really amazing to be part of something so amazing and was a great way to end my work with sonRisas, for the time being, with the culmination of my work being the Jornada Medica.
After traveling to Tikal and helping at the Jornada Médica, it feels like both my traveling and work has wrapped up. Right now I’m finishing the odds and ends of my work and preparing to pass along the work Karie and I have done to sonRisas and to future interns. I also have to make sure to spend time with friends and the family I stayed with down here, because I will no doubt miss them as soon as I leave. Thank you Guatemala, thank you AIESEC, and thank you to everyone else down here, it has been an amazing experience and I know I will return to Guatemala in my future.
Paz y Amor,