Guatemala seems like such a long time ago that I barely remember what my expectations were going in. Frankly I think I was most worried about the weather. I wilt in heat and humidity. And maybe the food, I can be a picky eater. Once I got there, I didn’t spend much time thinking about those things. Even though it was six years ago, I still have moments when I vividly remember something: a mountain pass that looks like it’s from Jurassic Park, the sound of ululating prayer rising to the ceiling in the town church, the chilly morning fog in the mountain villages, the surreal feeling of hearing 30 tiny Guatemalan children sing “Hello, Goodbye” for you. I entered a phase of intense creativity when I returned home. It’s the stuff poems are made of.
But there’s another thing I took away from Guatemala, and all my Headlights experiences, that affects me every day – the deep importance in my life in building communities. Our group became a little family, and we’re still connected by the shared experience. The church in Santo Tomas was a family, Father Hazy’s school was a family, all the small villages we visited supported one another like family members. One of the resounding reflections from everyone on the trip was the sentiment that, though the people of Guatemala have a host of needs in order to live longer, safer lives, they all have the community support that we try to achieve and that makes everything else easier to bear.
So hang out, have fun, and take it back with you.