In Spring 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to do photo and video production for Colegio Mesoamericano in Guatemala.
A little backstory to why I started this journey goes back to my roots. My mother is from Guatemala and many of my close family members still live there. Back in 2007, I had never been to Central America. I’ve always loved the culture and my roots but wasn’t familiar with what it had to offer.
When I was in my first semester of college I looked for volunteer opportunities in Guatemala. I knew during this part of my life I needed to explore abroad. After some research and seeking out connections, I received an email about teaching English at a school.
At the time I signed up the founder of the school organization, Julio, happened to be in Utah. This gave me the chance to meet and coordinate in person. The relationship I built with Julio and his team led me to do photo and production for their schools.
Fast forward to 2019 and this trip was my third time back in Guatemala for volunteering alone. I was fortunate to have been there on separate occasions photographing weddings. So when an opportunity to work with Mesoamericano comes up, I don’t hesitate to say yes. They are like family to me and I feel fortunate to have this experience.
The energy these schools and children embrace is a vibrancy of happiness. It’s contagious the moment you step into any of their rooms.
Something that immediately stands out as differences between the schools in Guatemala versus in America is how they play, like old-fashion play. You don’t see kids consumed in iPads or phones, I know many of them don’t even have TVs. What one sees is how they fully immerse themselves in the playground. All the kids attentively interact with one another.
My hope is that these images capture a glimpse of their soulful connection.
For more of my travels, check out Fall Yosemite Experience