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Final Group Yak

What did I accomplish in Guatemala?

I learned more Spanish and how to connect with people who I can’t perfectly communicate with; both the people of Guatemala and my group mates.

I think my Spanish improved a lot and could almost be considered fluent.

My conversational Spanish improved so much and I learned about genuinely connecting to people and the world around me.

I learned how to cope with difficult people, even in difficult situations.

I accomplished many things in Guatemala, one of the most significant being about self reflection, and exponential improvement to my Spanish.

I learned Spanish fluency and gained confidence. I have pushed myself further out of my comfort zone than I thought possible.

I improved my Spanish & learned a lot about myself.

I practiced my short term social skills, and I learned to make tomatalitas con chapalin.

I accomplished a deeper understanding of the effects my actions have on large communities thousands of miles away from where I live.

I improved my comprehension & conversational Spanish skills.

What did I learn about Guatemala?

I learned about the beautiful culture which is both unique and similar. I learned about the fierce pride people have for this country, which contrasts the violent history.

I learned about the culture and people here, but also about the United States exploitation of the people/land here &the violence that caused.

I learned that the people here are very friendly, and although they are different, the cities are very interesting.

I learned about the culture and lifestyle of indigenous people, and the passion, drive, and kindness that is so prevalent among communities.

I learned about how controlled/effected they were by the USA and how that began years of violence and danger.

I learned about their culture and how beautiful it is, so different from mine.

I learned about the false stereotypes of indigenous and Mayan people, about the US’s effect in the civil war, and the realities of migration.

I learned about the terrors the United States has inflicted on this country.

My biggest takeaway & my favorite thing that I learned about Guatemala were the little things- what one family might do on an empty night, what errands must be run daily, what greetings are appropriate, etc.

I learned Guatemala is not a country defined by its poverty and political instability, but by its people.


What did I learn about myself?

I learned to fully immerse myself in every activity and learning opportunity. I became more aware of the world around me and the results of the actions I take.

I learned that I need to have greater trust in my abilities, specifically Spanish for this course, & not worry so much about making mistakes.

I learned that something has to change in my life at home for it to be more sustainable.

I have learned about the quantity of things I take for granted and the thought I need to put into buying groceries.

I learned that I need to be more confident because I am happier when I feel confident.

I have learned that I need to lean in and make the most of the short time I have with people.

I have learned to persevere through challenges and that I am strong enough to stand up for myself. I have also learned about the extent of my own curiosity, and if I throw myself into an unknown situation I can make the best of it.

I learned to make use of resources around me (like people) and to be in the moment, & that I can be a leader.

I learned that I can be independent and be a good leader. I think that I need to believe more in myself, because that is when I feel more fulfilled & able to accomplish the most.


What will I miss the most?

I will miss the peaceful moments on the dock, amongst good company.

I will miss being with other people, trying to accomplish things, away from home.

I will miss the people, the friends I have made and the daily opportunities that I have been given.

I will miss my friends & the beautiful landscapes & cities.

I will miss this beautiful house with a hammock on the dock on the Caribbean Sea.

I will miss the freedom, beauty, culture, friendships, and food that I have experienced on this course.

My friends, the kind people, and the gorgeous views and landscapes we see each day.

I will miss the friendships I have made here, together with how beautiful everything is.

I will miss the people, the incredible nature, the kind families, incredible food and vivid culture.

I will miss having the ability to change who you are to a completely new set of people.

I will miss the members of this group & making time to watch the sunrise & other activities I overlook at home.


What am I most looking forward to at home?

I am really looking forward to seeing my friends, my sisters and food.

I miss so much a good piece of steak and eating it with the people I love.

I am looking forward to spending quality time with family and friends who I haven;t seen in a long time. And my dog.

I don’t know if I’m actually looking forward to home, maybe reuniting with friends.

I am looking forward to hearing the noise of my city before I sleep. I’m looking forward to my family being there for me.

I am looking forward to spending time with my family and friends in a big city I know.

I’m looking forward to seeing my dog & sleeping in my own bed.

I’m looking forward to barbecues on the beach with friends and family.

I am looking forward to spending quality time with my friends and family and taking a really nice shower.

I’m looking workfare to seeing my friends and telling others about my experiences.

I’m most excited to change how I live in the US.


Thank you, friends and family, for…

Recommending Dragons to me after your gap year.

Thank you Mom and Dad for always encouraging me and supporting me through my ambitions.

For giving me the funds to go on this trip.

Thank you for my family’s support and the emails I got.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and good vibes and your constant support and concern.

Thanks for exposing me to the Dragons program, enabling me to go, going to REI with me for supplies.

Thank you to my parents for preparing me mentally & my supplies for this trip. And to my sister for funny emails & making me feel loved and cared for.

Thank you to my Mom and Dad for sponsoring my trip. Thank you Mimi for my backpack.

Thank you for your patience, love, and continued support.

Thanks Mom for not writing me daily novels & Dad for not letting her.