5 Reasons Guatemala > America
This post is going to be completely foreign to readers who have never traveled outside of the US or experienced culture in a third world country. You are missing out and I am going to tell you why…
I sold all of my stuff, quit my career, and flew over to Guatemala ¨solo¨to volunteer at a children´s refuge for 3 months in the mountains of Coban.
Why? I wanted my soul back and I found it along with my passion.
Corporate America stole it. After college all I wanted to do was make money. I paid my way through college with Hope Scholarship and worked my butt off to pay off what that didn´t cover. After a summer internship in Orlando at Fox35, which was awesome, I had a nice student loan to pay off as well. I got a job in outside sales immedietly after I left the nest and hit the ground running. I swung like a monkey grabbing each better new opportunity that came my way and landed into a great career. I had an amazing job, making great money, a fun social life, and everything you would want to achieve at 25 years old.
I had what i like to call a ¨come to Jesus moment¨during that time.
A wicked routine that´s easy to fall into…
Week: Work – 8 to 6 (for someone elses vision)
Weekend: Typical bar hop scene with friends, dance, drink, and be merry
I started noticing the same people doing the same things every weekend. It´s like I jumped outside of myself and did the V8 pop to the forehead. WAKE UP! I didn´t want to be that girl at the same bar with the same people every weekend. I didn´t want to work for someone else. I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. I wanted change.
I lost my PASSION and I needed to find it. So I did what any person in this generation does to lift their spirits… googled inspirational quotes, read inspirational books, and did some soul searching online.
I lost sight of who I was and what I wanted. I took my life back into my hands and made some drastic decisions that left my friends and family thinking I had ¨fallen off my rocker¨(sorry if you don´t understand my southern idioms)
It was a slow progression to a new life but that´s all I needed to light a fire under my bottom.
Ok… now that you got the back story how in the world does Guatemala come into play you ask?
GOD. Yep. GOD. I´ll say it one more time for the non believers. GOD.
I would tell this juicy part but I´m saving it for MY BOOK!
Now, back to why Guatemala is awesome.
1) Guatemalans are the most hospitable and kind and humble people I have ever met. The rich and the poor. BOTH. The village people will invite you in and offer all they have which isn´t alot. Families are closer and spend more time together.
In the states a stranger is a stranger and if you see a random person walking around your yard you´d probable call the police instead of invite them in for dinner. Family time is cut in half due to the work load for most parents and less time together.
2) I love how with the upper class families it´s not frowned upon for kids to live at home through college. They don´t have student loans because their parents help them and during that time they save up for a home of their own. Most move out when they get married and by that time they have cash for their first home which they can pay for up front.
In the states unless your parents were successful enough to foot your college most likely you will have a student loan. After college a mortgage. Let´s face it America runs off credit. Most people live off of that sadly. The neverending debt that compiles until you die of stress because you can´t catch up. Companies lay off long time employees because they don´t want to fork out what they´re owed in their benefits package. Doctors are overworked and underpaid (the people that save lives). Most entry level positions pay 30K and after taxes you are eating Ramon noodles or calling your parents if you had that luxury. I love how companies are ONLY hiring temps because they don´t want to offer full benefits. Great job America you are single handedly hanging yourself.
3) Having lunch with Guatemalans is an all day thing and very enjoyable. No one is glued to technology. They genuinely enjoy their company, stay engaged in conversation with no interruptions, and lots of laughter. It´s normal to have a 3 hour lunch. OH AND THE FOOD IS FRESH! NO PRESERVATIVES. The soil here is rich and every farmers dream come true.
Go ahead and check out the cancer stats in the world. America is the one of the highest. The importance of money has diminished the quality of life meaning our life source… OUR FOOD adding in preservatives. Fast food don´t even get me started. Natural and organic will save your life literally. I started eating clean 2 years ago and juicing vegetables. I cured my LIFETIME migraines that I had since I was 3 years old. I cured my sinus infections which are now nonexistent. I have not been sick because I eat really clean. Oh and I quit drinking alcohol. Healthy feels great and I love this lifestyle.
4) 7Q to 1 AMERICAN DOLLAR
Need I say more
5) The scenery is breathtaking in all parts of the country: Balck sand beaches from previous volcanic eruptions, Mayan ruins- some of the oldest historical sites in the world, Lake Atitlan which is magical, and my favorite children´s home in the whole world, New Hope Coban, where the children are angels and I´m convinced is heaven on earth.
After my 3 month stint volunteering in the country my perception of life as I knew it changed forever. I saw death in America and life in Guatemala. I saw children full of laughter and smiles who had NOTHING. I saw village people with less than the homeless in America but more than the richest. I saw a poor country whose people live off of necessity not materialism and quanity and credit. I see people who LOVE with everything in their being and give ALL THEY HAVE to complete strangers. COMPASSION. LOVE. RAW AND REAL LIFE. That´s what I want. Organic and natural not processed or preserved.
America was no longer the land of opportunity but the graveyard of debt, stress, and obesity.
I urge everyone to volunteer abroad in a third world country at least once. Jump outside that bubble and open your eyes to a new world. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You will leave to help others who will end up helping you.
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” Ralph Waldo Emerson