I am writing you with a foggy view of the mountains of Xela and the rumble of thunder as my backdrop. Xela, or Quetzaltenango, is Guatemala’s second largest city and home to many of the mountains in the country as well as my home for the last several months. I moved here for a while to be closer to my partner who is Guatemalan and who you will hopefully get to meet this summer. I am somewhat of a nomad as I have lived most of my growing up years in Argentina, went to high-school and college in Indiana, and after living in California for about a decade made my way back South.
Ever since I was a small child I have been marveled and awed by the power of mountains. Having grown up in the Global South, mostly Bolivia and Argentina, I was surrounded by a different kind of mountain, but the countryside here in Guatemala is one of verdant landscapes (especially during the rainy season in which you all will arrive), profound histories, and welcoming environments (people and landscapes). I am excited to be able to journey with you through these fertile soils made from the volcanoes both active and inactive that give the people here a kind story and a sustenance that may be unimaginable in the Global North.
This summer will be my third course with Dragons in Guatemala and I am excited to share my experiences and learn alongside intrepid travelers such as yourselves. I have instructed with Dragons for two years now in Guatemala, Perú and Bolivia and I am eager to learn more about the environments, people, and histories that I am always coming into contact with in my life, especially through this kind of work. Besides being immersed in the natural world, what brings me the most joy is being an active learner and listener and figuring out solutions to complex questions that affect us on a daily basis. These solutions are sometimes very simple like living with a smaller footprint and practicing compassion and understanding with people that you may encounter on your daily routine.
My formation is as an English teacher but I have felt my calling outside of the walls of a traditional classroom and immersed in the trees, the cornfields, and houses of sometimes complete strangers who become close acquaintances through sharing together what we have and who we are. I wish this kind of learning for you all as well as we embark on our month-long adventure in the lowlands and highlands of Guatemala. I am wishing you all the best during this final month you have at school and as you prepare for our journey together both mentally and physically.
If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to Randall, Mónica, and me on this platform or feel free to shoot us an email as well. My email is [email protected] We will be posting yaks in the upcoming weeks about packing lists, our itinerary, and other tips for you all as your prepare so keep posted!
¡¡Un abrazo fuerte y hasta pronto!!
p.s. the picture is of me on a recent hike.