Written by Emma Frasier (U.S.-Indiana)
As soon as I returned home from my first trip to Guatemala, I knew I had to go back. I immediately began saving my money and before I knew it, I was packing my bags the summer after my junior year to head back for two more weeks. I had such an incredible trip the year prior that I was wondering how this year would compare. Little did I know that this year’s trip would leave an even greater impact on my life. T
his time around was filled with even more laughs, adventures, and above all, a growth in confidence that I had never found in myself before. I spent time with a new host family who I was actually able to converse with (through many bumps and bruises in grammar and vocabulary….) They were a family of teachers and were so patient with me as I fluttered my way through making full sentences. I came to Guatemala this time with the mentality that I would use Spanish whenever I could, because as long as I was practicing and trying my hardest, I knew that people would see my effort.
In addition to having an amazing host family, I lived with my friend Claire, who traveled with me both weeks on last year’s trip as well. We talked about life here in Guatemala compared to the states and because of her, I really began to understand the impact we were making in peoples’ lives. Our entire group this year was so close-knit. We all clicked well and spent our time making the most out of every possible adventure. Traveling with friends is a beautiful thing, and I would not have traded the people I got to know so well and all of the memories we made on this trip for anything.
We studied Spanish for five hours each day again, and I even got placed with my same teacher from last year, Alexander. He was so patient as I struggled my way through conversations. He’s in a Spanglish band called Pa’Que, and a group of us went to a bar called King & Queen and watched him play. They played a mixture of Spanish and English songs and were phenomenal! It was a night I will never forget.
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