Photo of the Week
Guatemala 4-week A
Photo Title


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    [post_date] => 2014-07-28 08:59:46
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    [post_content] => Helllo, we the dragons of Guatemala week 4-A have taken it upon ourselves to set up a fund raiser for the citizens in Pacux, Rabinal. The people leaving inPacus currently have not enough sufficent food or water to survive. They are also experiencing severe drought at the moment and with their well having  caved in a couple weeks ago, they only have access to water for an hour a day everyday to do all of their necessities. So we have made a fund raiser on the site We The Trees to start up a 5000 dollar campaign to give them enough money for a new well and a computer supplies. Your participation would be much appreciated. Feel free to donate to the link below and thank you for co-operation.

http://www.wethetrees.com/campaigns/the-well-is-dry-food-security-for-guatemalan-genocide-survivors
    [post_title] => IN Pacux the well has ran dry.
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Picture of the Week, Guatemala 4-week A

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IN Pacux the well has ran dry.

Dragons Group Week 4-A,Picture of the Week, Guatemala 4-week A

Description

Helllo, we the dragons of Guatemala week 4-A have taken it upon ourselves to set up a fund raiser for the citizens in Pacux, Rabinal. The people leaving inPacus currently have not enough sufficent food or water to survive. They are also experiencing severe drought at the moment and with their well having  caved in […]

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

Dragons Group Week 4-A

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-28 08:57:44
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    [post_content] => Dear Friends and Family, 
We are writing you from our flight to Miami! It is crazy how quickly the time flew by, but our trip was amazing. We celebrated with cake and an un-talent show last night, after a packed day of frisbee games and Mayan saunas at our transference site Earth Lodge. Many more stories to come when we arrive back in the US, we can't wait to share all that we learned and accomplished!
We'll call you all from Miami!
Saludos,
Guate 4A
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Guatemala 4-week A

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Boarding….

Emy Gelb,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

Dear Friends and Family,  We are writing you from our flight to Miami! It is crazy how quickly the time flew by, but our trip was amazing. We celebrated with cake and an un-talent show last night, after a packed day of frisbee games and Mayan saunas at our transference site Earth Lodge. Many more […]

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

Emy Gelb

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-26 22:07:51
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-27 04:07:51
    [post_content] => After being in Guatemala for almost a month I finally found my home. Five days ago my group arrived in San Antonio, a little town over looking Lake Atitlan. When we arrived I was blown away by the gigantic lake and could not believe it was going to be my home for the next five days. My home-stay family lived on the top of the mountain but I never dreaded the walk because it had the most spectacular view. My room overlooked the whole lake and the three volcanoes that surrounding it.

Every night before dinner my family and I would enjoy a big cup of coffee and the best loaf of banana bread. We would sit there watching the sun go behind the volcanoes while speaking Spanish. We would talk for hours without evening noticing our language barrier. It was incredible that I could connect, laugh and converse with them. Our conversations felt pure because there were no distractions by cell phones or computers. Everyone was focused on the conversation and there were no outside distractions. It was nice embracing the awkward silences because normally I would turn to my phone to fill those gaps.

I’m truly grateful for the experience of coming to Guatemala because everyone I met has impacted me in someway. From those intense testimonies from war survivors to little dinner conversations with my host-family, each one was so powerful and real. But I think the part I’m going to miss most is the relationship I made with the group. I am going to miss our morning check-ins of physical needs and “poop scales”. I’m going to miss sharing our embarrassing stories of home-stay incidents and I’m going to miss swimming in the lake while taking underwater selfies. I’m going to miss getting stuck in hailstorms on the tallest mountain in Central America and I’m going to miss our huge candy cravings. The group made every day and conversation memorable and it is going to be strange not waking up to them everyday when we return.
    [post_title] => Looking back on my expierence
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Guatemala 4-week A

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Looking back on my expierence

Phoebe Yusim,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

After being in Guatemala for almost a month I finally found my home. Five days ago my group arrived in San Antonio, a little town over looking Lake Atitlan. When we arrived I was blown away by the gigantic lake and could not believe it was going to be my home for the next five […]

Posted On

07/26/14

Author

Phoebe Yusim

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    [post_content] => One doesn't know how happy they are somewhere until they leave it. My homestay experience in San Antonio is one to remember. In this homestay, I lived in a home that was not as pretty or technologically advanced as other homes in the are. But that isn't important. In San Antonio, I meet two of the most amazing people I have ever met: Patrona and Perez. These two people allowed me to come into their home, use their things, eat their food, and sleep in one of their rooms. In my opinion, that is one of the hardest things to do. These two allowed me to enter a place so sacred and so private to them. One doesn't come to a place for the food, buildings, or business. They come for the people. And the people are what makes a place special. It will be very hard to forget about these kind people.
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Guatemala 4-week A

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Lake Atitlan

Noah Schucking,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

One doesn’t know how happy they are somewhere until they leave it. My homestay experience in San Antonio is one to remember. In this homestay, I lived in a home that was not as pretty or technologically advanced as other homes in the are. But that isn’t important. In San Antonio, I meet two of […]

Posted On

07/26/14

Author

Noah Schucking

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-26 14:25:08
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    [post_content] => 

As the group and I make our way into our final destination where we will begin our stage of transference, our jaws drop as soon as we see the cash register that accepts credit cards. For the first time in a month, we will order in english; which to us, seems like an extremely foreign concept. We have truly come full circle- American concepts seem like foreign concepts to us now! It is quite tough to sum up the various things that I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity of experiencing, but I will do my best to try.

I have woken up to toothless grandmothers huddled over me with plates of eggs and beans.

I have eaten as many tortillas as my stomach will ever be able to handle.

I have been the reciever of countless greetings each and everyday, varying from “gringa” to “can I take a picture of you” (alone), and hundreds of “buenas dias'”.

I have learned to embrace, as opposed to face, language barriers which have made it exremely difficult to communicate with various families that I have lived with.

I have sat in between two women, both holding children, on a chicken bus, as the middle of the aisle is entirely packed with people and their belongings.

I have played games upon games upon games of hot potato and hide and go seek with smiley Guatemalan children.

I have hiked volcanoes, been caught in hail storms, and walked through cities with a huge and funny looking pack strapped across my waist and my chest.

I have fallen down dirt hills, bathed myself with buckets, and spent hours next to a fiery oven, practicing the art of tortilla making and drinking “atol” (corn coffee).

I have spent time in a clinic in Xela, looking for an answer to my interesting and mysterious bug bites located on my stomach and lower legs.

I have been disconnected from society with no form of communication for a month, and I have loved it.

I have been pushed and smothered by people dressed in typical traditional clothing in the market, searching for the best deal on aguacates and other fruits and vegetables.

I have found myself heartbroken as I listen to the testimonies of the countless people who were so greatly damaged by the Civil War here in Guatemala. Later, I have found myself inspired as I take note of the incredible abilities that people have to endure and live life courageously even after all of the pain and agony.

I have the learned the most valuable lessons that I was yet to have ever before.

Life is simple when you make it simple. Simple things hold a great power. The power of a silence in a quiet enviroment can sometimes be more powerful than the attempt of silly chatter. My time in Guatemala has shown me what is important in life; it has given me a deeper insight to what and who I truly appreciate and value. For this, I am eternally grateful. For this experience, I am blessed, enlightened, and touched. In the words of our instructor Matt, “in 70 years, when we're sipping lemonade on our porches, we will all think back to these days and think.... hey, these are the good old days”.

Thank you, Guatemala!!

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Guatemala 4-week A

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Thank you Guatemala

Caroline Welch,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

As the group and I make our way into our final destination where we will begin our stage of transference, our jaws drop as soon as we see the cash register that accepts credit cards. For the first time in a month, we will order in english; which to us, seems like an extremely foreign […]

Posted On

07/26/14

Author

Caroline Welch

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-26 14:22:13
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-26 20:22:13
    [post_content] => 

00 a m I stumble out of bed onto the floor with my roomates telling me we have 5 minutes. Putting a shirt on is a task as I try to walk out the door.

 on the way to 18000 feet I felt nautious on the chicken bus. I opened my eyes and felt the altitude as a breeze of cold air came in through the window. I tried to balance my head on my fellow dragon sleeping on me, but to no avail. Most on the bus were either trying to sleep or rest as the bus was packed. I drifted back to sleep for a few minutes and then heard the call, Lets go. I woke up and speaking minimal words we slowly piled off the back grater onto the concrete. As our bags were thrown down from the top of the bus a few of us grabbed our packs and nonchalantly tossed them to the side of the road. The bus started to roll away, unveiling a large and menacing hill that would start our volcano trek.

1 hour later – I was already tired as we approached a green field with a menacing series of rocks to climb up, looking back down I could still make out the town but with each push up the mountain it slowly started to fade away. When I turned left I was amazed to see we were at the same height as the clouds and one of my fellow climbers pointed out what appeared to be a cloud but maybe it was the altitude, but we all thought it looked like the stairway to heaven as it made an arch and sun shined upn it. 4 of us were located at the back of the group as one of our fellow travelers was feeling nautious.

2 hours later-

with so much farther to go we all took a small break to grab some good fatty trailmix that our guide had thougtfully prepared. His name was santiago and at 22 years old he had already climbed the volcano 30 times.

4 hours later- as we traversed another grassy knoll the first hail started and we took cover under a tree.

6 hours later- Out of nowhere the hail started falling more like attacking us. We added extra layers and as I hadnt prepared well for hail in guetamala I put on my extra shirts. We decided to keep trekking and we took small steps through building slush.

10 minutes later. I was soaked to the bone still trudging when I saw a sign of relief, a tarp constructed with the support of human heads. We all ducked in and we were still hopefull, knowing base camp was only 20 minutes away.

30 minutes later- with my arms wrapped in gloves I held hands with another dragon as we made a bear hug with 6 people, robert in the middle. As we heard the roll call to head back down the mountain I wondered why the mountain had challenged us and if we ever made it back, what I would take away from the experience. Now looking back I feel that even though I never made it to the top, I felt like I had climbed the mountain, only that we took our own more challenging route.

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Guatemala 4-week A

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Yak

Elijah Horton,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

5 00 a m I stumble out of bed onto the floor with my roomates telling me we have 5 minutes. Putting a shirt on is a task as I try to walk out the door.  on the way to 18000 feet I felt nautious on the chicken bus. I opened my eyes and felt the altitude […]

Posted On

07/26/14

Author

Elijah Horton

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 14:45:05
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    [post_content] => Dear Guatemala Students & Families,

 

This weekend marks the end of our Guatemala summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes and return home to share their tales of adventure with each of you.  We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

 

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference.  Starting on Saturday, 7/26, should you need any assistance during student travel days (outside of normal office hours), please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com. During office hours (M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm M.S.T.) please continue to use our parent line at:800-982-9203 ext. 130.

 Returning Flight: 

July 28th, 2014 

American Airlines #966

Depart: Guatemala City (GUA) 7:00am

Arrive: Miami (MIA) 11:35am

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Guatemala 4-week A, Guatemala 4-week B

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Guatemala Return Flight Reminder

Eva Vanek,Guatemala 4-week A, Guatemala 4-week B

Description

Dear Guatemala Students & Families,   This weekend marks the end of our Guatemala summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes and return home to share their tales of adventure with each of you.  We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!   Below is a reminder of the return group flight […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-24 13:18:23
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    [post_content] => One of the many repeated prompts that we were given throughout the course of these four weeks was "What and whom are you thankful for?". After our first home stay in Pachaj, I began to understand how fortunate I am for my freedom and my education. For some reason, one of the first questions I asked all of the people I've met here was "Have you ever been outside of Guatemala?". 100% of the time the answer was no. After that, I usually asked "What country would you like to travel to?". 100% of the time the answer was the United States. On the occasions when I was feeling lucky, I asked "Are there any other countries besides the United States?". My favorite answer to this question was New York. After asking this series of questions, I feel unsettled that every single human lives on planet Earth but there are so many people who have never and will never get to see so many parts of it. The right to a passport has obviously been something I've taken for granted up until this point in my life. I live in a world of mostly "will I" instead of "can I" which is an immense freedom that the majority of the world does not get to experience. I understand how ridiculously spoiled this may sound but I promise that I am not referring to these "can I" situations in the context of buying pearl necklaces. I am talking about the situations that so many Americans are confronted with everyday, such as buying a coke, taking a shower, or checking Facebook. The freedom to do such simple activities is something that is almost impossible to see until you are in a community that does not have such privileges. Secondly, I have become immensely appreciative for my education after hearing the leaders of certain teen-oriented organizations discuss that one of their most prominent objectives is to provide schooling opportunities to teens, who otherwise commonly fall to drugs and gangs. In the United States, or maybe just in my school, there seems to be an overall "anti-education" attitude. Kids are too cool to learn, too cool to respect teachers, and mostly too cool to care. This entire mindset seems disgusting to me now that for so many years I allowed myself to believe I was literally "too cool for school" when there are kids all over the world that would die just for a chance to go to school. At first, upon realizing what incredible gifts I am given in the States, I felt like my job was to be appreciative. Study hard, complain less, and not take a single thing for granted. But I now see that this is only half of my job. Appreciating my gifts does nothing to provide others with the same opportunities. I may start to sound like a broken record here for anyone who has heard me talk in the last four weeks but the point of witnessing towns that are so severely lacking opportunities to freedom and education is that we may strive to rewrite the insane hierarchy that exists in the world. The same hierarchy that allows so many people to live in excess and luxury while the majority of the world are suffering in ways as (and more) severe than I have witnessed in Guatemala. I believe that the first step towards this kind of change comes in the form of education. This trip has scared me because it has made me realize just how confined the bubble that I live in is. I know plenty of people who, like me four weeks ago, can't even imagine how tough life must be for people without regular access to water, food, and medicine. Additionally, there was an entire Guatemalan genocide that occurred mainly with the assistance of the United States government that I was completely unaware of before my time here. Classes in school prefer to concentrate on history because it is concrete. You can study the Revolutionary War because teachers have confidence that the information won't suddenly change tomorrow. This is both the danger and the beauty of teaching the present. The future is unpredictable, so if teachers in school focused more on events that are happening today, maybe students would have a greater opportunity to change what happens tomorrow. I understand how ridiculously vague all of these concepts sound because they are in a lot of ways. I am light years behind people who have already experienced this increased appreciation and have actually started to do something with it. All I know is that right now I'm on square one and I'm so grateful that this trip took me here (as cheesy as that sounds).
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Guatemala 4-week A

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Yak

Liza Miller,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

One of the many repeated prompts that we were given throughout the course of these four weeks was “What and whom are you thankful for?”. After our first home stay in Pachaj, I began to understand how fortunate I am for my freedom and my education. For some reason, one of the first questions I […]

Posted On

07/24/14

Author

Liza Miller

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Hard at work in Spanish classes on Day 3 at Lake Atitlan, our eleven students juggle nouns and verbs with the smell of fresh tortillas wafting above. Laughter from games with Spanish teachers floats over fishermen in tiny wooden plank boats, hoisting up crab traps as the sun gleams off their paddles. [post_title] => Spanish Class! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => spanish-class [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-07-22 17:20:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-22 23:20:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106643 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Picture of the Week [slug] => picture-of-the-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 483 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 483 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Picture of the Week [category_nicename] => picture-of-the-week [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/picture-of-the-week/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 169 [name] => Guatemala 4-week A [slug] => guatemala-4-week-a [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 169 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 169 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Guatemala 4-week A [category_nicename] => guatemala-4-week-a [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/guatemala-4-week-a/ ) ) [category_links] => Picture of the Week, Guatemala 4-week A )
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Spanish Class!

Matt Schwartz,Picture of the Week, Guatemala 4-week A

Description

Hard at work in Spanish classes on Day 3 at Lake Atitlan, our eleven students juggle nouns and verbs with the smell of fresh tortillas wafting above. Laughter from games with Spanish teachers floats over fishermen in tiny wooden plank boats, hoisting up crab traps as the sun gleams off their paddles.

Posted On

07/22/14

Author

Matt Schwartz

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-22 15:25:36
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    [post_content] => Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from Lake Atitlan! We arrived in San Antonio Palopol yesterday, where our students will be taking Spanish classes and completing their last home stay. The trip has flown by, and we feel so grateful to have shared this experience with our students. The lake is a magical place to finish our course, reflect and relax. We look forward to grounding ourselves in this special town and soaking up our last days here in country.

We'll be posting more soon!

Saludos,

Guatemala 4A
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Greetings from the Lake

The Instructors ,Guatemala 4-week A

Description

Dear Friends and Family, Greetings from Lake Atitlan! We arrived in San Antonio Palopol yesterday, where our students will be taking Spanish classes and completing their last home stay. The trip has flown by, and we feel so grateful to have shared this experience with our students. The lake is a magical place to finish […]

Posted On

07/22/14

Author

The Instructors

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