Hola dearest Dragons,
I hope you are all doing well and are as excited as I am for our upcoming journey in Guatemala! I can imagine that the last year and a half wasn’t the easiest for you and that you can’t wait to get out into the world again. It is the same for me: I’m used to being on the road a lot, to meet new people, to experience. Well, we’re almost there again!
My name is Jochen Gahrau and I come from a small village in Western Germany. I graduated high school in 2005 and went on to study history, German literature, and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Cologne. After short stints in Cairo, Beirut, and Vancouver, I moved to Guatemala in 2013. I lived in Panajachel on the shores of beautiful lake Atitlán for five years. There I taught social sciences at a small international high school. In 2018 I joined the Dragons community and moved to the capital, Guatemala City. I have since worked on programs in Guatemala, México, Perú, and Bolivia.
Travelling with Dragons has given me a lot and it is impossible not to be humbled by the experiences and the people I met along the way: community members, co-instructors, students. And I know it will be the same for you. Because while we will be in incredibly beautiful places that we can take pictures of to show at home, it will be the human connections and stories that stay with us and sink deep, that will shape who we are. As an instructor, seeing students grow in real time is what keeps me going.
As you know, every Dragons program is unique, and Teto, Mónica and I are busy these days putting together an awesome, well balanced itinerary that allows for learning about Guatemala and connecting with its people while also protecting everyone – communities, you, and us – from the perils of this virus. For me, planning for a trip is super exciting and in just a few days we’ll post our tentative itinerary here on the Yak Board so you can get pumped, too! We will be posting other important information as well, so make sure to stay tuned.
I really can’t wait to meet you all on July 1st here in Guatemala City! Please let me or anyone from Dragons know if you have any questions in the meantime.
Un abrazo desde Guate,