So I was going back through old posts and I realized that this one from July 2014 had some issues with the formatting, so I am republishing the post now (and hopefully it looks good now):
This last week I was so blessed to be able to cross off another item from my bucket list: Visit the Children I Sponsor – Luis! I flew down to Guatemala to visit the little boy I sponsor and what an adventure it was! I spent most of my time in the capital, Guatemala City. It was very beautiful, even in the most poverty stricken areas (like where I stayed), and the food was amazing. This trip was different from most I had taken in the past, in that I was going on this trip Han Style: Solo. I feel like it was a good experience to travel solo (since I anticipate I will be doing this a lot when I get to Europe) because it not only strengthens my independence, but makes me feel a lot braver.
My first adventure happened not too long after I arrived in Guatemala. After I checked in to my hostel, the first thing I did was take a nap. When I woke up I decided to channel flip before going out for food. The only English channel was CNN, so I decided to catch up on a bit of news. As I was watching coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, I head very loud explosions, very loud gunshots in the streets. I froze and waited for a minute. They sounded again. The only thing I could think of was the parting words of my mother at the airport, “If you die in Guatemala, I’m going to kill you.” I laughed then, but it didn’t seem as funny now. I crept to my window and saw another girl running down the stairs. She saw me and I let her into my room as more shots were fired. I locked the doors and we hid in my bathroom for a good twenty minutes. When the shots finally stopped we made our way down to the reception to see what exactly was going on. An older woman, who we called Grandma, took us by the hand and led us around the block, right behind our hostel. There was a small church and they were having a celebration! I wish I had known that they fired guns off in celebration there, or that the church was literally one hundred feet from my window 🙂 Though I was fairly frightened, one very good thing came out of it: a new friend. The girl was a French Canadian who was just traveling around Central America. We became pretty good friends and swapped life stories after that; it only goes to show you that the world works in mysterious ways.
I had an absolutely amazing time in Antigua, Guatemala where I got to visit my precious Luis 🙂 I got to go to the Children International community center, where children have access to a dentist, doctor, computers for school, tutors and community development. I was also fortunate enough to visit Luis’ home and I got to meet his grandmother and two younger brothers (who were ridiculously adorable). I also went out to lunch with Luis and his mother and we spent a good part of a day at a museum complex (it was six museums in one) and I got to learn a lot about Guatemalan culture there.
I had so much fun with Luis and his family. It is something that I will never forget and I can’t wait until the next time I will get to visit him (hopefully when I get back from Europe).
I loved everything about Guatemala. I loved the culture, the land, the buildings, the food, the people. I miss everything about this place and I can’t wait for the day I get to return.
You can see more photos from my trip to Guatemala here.