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    [post_date] => 2016-07-28 10:11:28
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    [post_content] => Hello Families,

This is an update to let you know that the Guatemala 4 week team has arrived in Miami.  They are now at customs and making their way to their domestic flights.  All students have the Dragons emergency number should they need it for any reason.  Wishing you happy reunions!

Dragons Administration
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Students have arrived in Miami

Admin,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Hello Families, This is an update to let you know that the Guatemala 4 week team has arrived in Miami.  They are now at customs and making their way to their domestic flights.  All students have the Dragons emergency number should they need it for any reason.  Wishing you happy reunions! Dragons Administration

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

Admin

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-28 07:09:50
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-28 13:09:50
    [post_content] => Hello Families,

This is an update to let you know that the Guatemala 4 group is at the gate and preparing to board their international flight to Miami.  We'll keep you posted if there are any changes.  Thanks for your continued support.

 

Dragons Administration
    [post_title] => Guatemala 4 Week Ready to Depart
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Guatemala 4 Week Ready to Depart

Luis Alvarado,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Hello Families, This is an update to let you know that the Guatemala 4 group is at the gate and preparing to board their international flight to Miami.  We’ll keep you posted if there are any changes.  Thanks for your continued support.   Dragons Administration

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

Luis Alvarado

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 15:25:57
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 21:25:57
    [post_content] => We are finishing our last few days in Guatemala on a farm, Ruta de Yalu, near Antigua. Here we are in transference --- engaging in activities to help us reflect on what we have learned in the past month, and how we can take what we have learned with us back home.
Guatemala has been a life changing experience. I, as well as every student on this trip, have grown into a more educated, considerate, and passionate person. One thing I have learned this month is to work for the future, not just for yourself in the present. At The Reforestation Project Chico Mendez in Pachaj, the moral of working for the time ahead was engraved in their mission. The project plants trees to keep an oxygen-heavy world for future generations. This has inspired me to push for change because even if this change won’t have an impact in the moment, years from now someone will benefit.
Another thing I will take with me is how little you need to be happy. Living with different Guatemalan families throughout the course, I have seen differences in living conditions, but happiness was constant throughout. One house I lived in had no light, one room, and walls made of mud, while another had gated doors, televisions, and multiple floors, but one thing they both shared was an equal level of joy and gratitude. No matter the living conditions, both families had people by their side, and to them that was all they needed to find pleasure.
One value in Guatemala that is considered abnormal in New York City, where I live, is to put other people before you -- even strangers. One of the most memorable and significant moments for me on this course was during the trek. I was walking through a heavy rainstorm, had no rain jacket, and was drenched and uncomfortable. As I strolled along with my huge backpack pulling me behind, a little boy called me from his house. He lived in a tiny village in a little house with horses outside that were so skinny you could make out each rib on their back. He looked at me and reached out his hand, offering me a pink garbage bag to use as cover. I looked back at him, startled that a stranger went of his way to make a foreigner comfortable. I took it graciously, pulled it over my head, and tried to wrap my mind around his selflessness. No matter how little he had, he was willing to give it up for someone else. No one would ever do that for me at home. The sense of community and altruism was foreign to me. I will never forget that little boy, and will use him as an example as I craft my own “buen vivir.”
Finally, I have learned a silenced history. Through working with Mayan people and listening to their stories, I have gained a perspective that has been hidden in my history classrooms. It is sad to see a tragic and gruesome civil war that still has repercussions in Guatemala today, be left out of the American education system. This gap in our education has led to a crooked and narrow American mindset. With the knowledge we were given by the local Guatemalans, I have learned I need to take action to better educate the future.
It is a privilege that I get to take home my knowledge on selflessness, happiness embedded in the simple things, working for the future, and the history of Guatemala. And with this privilege, I have the responsibility to act and fight for change.
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Knowledge is Power

Anna McNulty,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

We are finishing our last few days in Guatemala on a farm, Ruta de Yalu, near Antigua. Here we are in transference — engaging in activities to help us reflect on what we have learned in the past month, and how we can take what we have learned with us back home. Guatemala has been […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Anna McNulty

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-26 15:55:10
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    [post_content] => Dear Guatemala 4-week Students & Families,

Guatemala 4-week summer program students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and 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:

July 28th, 2016

American Airlines #1182

Depart: Guatemala City (GUA) 7:00 AM

Arrive: Miami (MIA) 11:43 AM

Should you need any assistance during student travel days, please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Dragons Administration
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Return Travel Information

Eva Vanek,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Dear Guatemala 4-week Students & Families, Guatemala 4-week summer program students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and 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: July 28th, 2016 […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-19 10:51:17
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-19 16:51:17
    [post_content] => ¡Buen dia compañeros y compañeras!

Hoy aprendimos sobre la historia atrás del nombre de nuestro hotel Casa Familiar. The hotel in which we are staying was formerly a place where the woman who now owns it crafted and sold traditional dress. Slowly, as more tourists came to the town to observe the making process, it was transformed into a hotel in which tourists and locals could stay together, cook together, and hold other communal gatherings. Since its successful debut as Casa Familiar, several single women have banded together to make traje tipica in an effort to subsist. With help from the her family, the owner made the hotel larger. However, because the family still lives in the place, it is fittingly named Casa Familiar as it is still a family house as well as a hotel.

¡Gracias y adios!
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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La Historia de Casa Familia

Juaddy, Alex, Carolyn, Abi,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

¡Buen dia compañeros y compañeras! Hoy aprendimos sobre la historia atrás del nombre de nuestro hotel Casa Familiar. The hotel in which we are staying was formerly a place where the woman who now owns it crafted and sold traditional dress. Slowly, as more tourists came to the town to observe the making process, it was transformed […]

Posted On

07/19/16

Author

Juaddy, Alex, Carolyn, Abi

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-19 10:46:41
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    [post_content] => Yesterday our group left Pachaj and Proyecto Chico Mendes and arrived in Todos Santos Cuchumantan after a four hour bus ride. Here, we are a much higher elevation. The air in noticeably thinner, and the fluffy clouds seem close enough to touch. We spent the day reflecting on how our course has gone so far and creating goals for the remainder of our trip. We are also preparing for our four day trek, which we begin tomorrow morning.

In the morning we will have a short bus ride from Todos Santos to Ventosa. From Ventosa we well hike 15 kilometers to Siete Pinos, the community where we will spend our first night. On the second day we will hike 16 kilometers and arrive in Laguna de Magdalena for the night. On the first and second days the hiking will be mostly flat. We will see sheep and many farms growing potatoes and grains. On the third day the terrain will be more mountainous as we hike from Laguna de Magdalena to Acul. The hike on the third day will be the most challenging, as we will hike over 20 kilometers and gain elevation. However, this day will also offer some of the most stunning views. The fourth and final day of our trek is a half day, 10 kilometer hike from Acul to our destination, Nebaj.

Accompanying us on our trek will be a local guide, Roberto. This will be his fifteenth time guiding a Dragons group on a trek. Roberto´s knowledge of the area will be an invaluable resource. Hopefully we will be able to learn a lot from him about the local culture and how we can build more meaningful relationships with nature.

P.S. It is very unlikely that we will have internet access while trekking, so the next field note won´t be posted until we are in our final homestay. See you on the other side of the trek.
    [post_title] => Gearing up for the TREK!!!
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Gearing up for the TREK!!!

Anna Mulhern,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Yesterday our group left Pachaj and Proyecto Chico Mendes and arrived in Todos Santos Cuchumantan after a four hour bus ride. Here, we are a much higher elevation. The air in noticeably thinner, and the fluffy clouds seem close enough to touch. We spent the day reflecting on how our course has gone so far […]

Posted On

07/19/16

Author

Anna Mulhern

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-19 10:46:04
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-19 16:46:04
    [post_content] => Hola family and friends!

Today we will depart Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, Huehuetanango for three and half days of trekking to Nebaj, El Quiché. During this time we will not have internet access as a group, so there won't be any field notes or other ways for the students to contact loved ones, outside of emergency situations.

This segment of the trip will be a new challenge for the group, and we are excited to see how it goes! We'll be walking through some of the highest areas of Guatemala - we'll be over 10,000 ft for much of the trek - and areas with languages that are new to us: Mam and Ixil. It should be quite the adventure :)

Expect a field note on Thursday!

 
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Time to trek!

Brian Reilly,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Hola family and friends! Today we will depart Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, Huehuetanango for three and half days of trekking to Nebaj, El Quiché. During this time we will not have internet access as a group, so there won’t be any field notes or other ways for the students to contact loved ones, outside of emergency […]

Posted On

07/19/16

Author

Brian Reilly

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-15 11:59:43
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-15 17:59:43
    [post_content] => 

Hello folks at home!

Pachaj is el mejor!

Yesterday (so Wednesday) we worked more on our urban gardens, especialmente nuestro pared verde, they look brillante.

Spanish classes (in our advanced level J) have taken a turn for the more interesting. For instance, ayer mi maestra y yo fuimos a su casa para cosinar chuchitos (un plato tradicional de Guatemala) Otras estudiantes concinaron otras comidas

Por ejemplo: pancakes, bebida de fruta, planaos fritos, y atoll (una bebita tipica de Guatemala que es de arroz y chocolate)

Then we learned how to make pan dulce, or, more accurately, we learned how to make the dough for pan dulce and arrived promptly today (jueves) at 7:30 to decorate and bake them. Im watching the bread rise at the moment while writing this.

The group is basically having a blast and im fairly confident that learning is happening as well.

Besides the fact that everyone is now terrified of meeting the [Siquida], everything is going swimmingly!

As a personal anecdote, on Monday, my Spanish teacher and I went to see the k’a[umlot]q (pulgada in Spanish, and flee in English). The reason it’s called that is that the myth is that it used ot be part of a larger mountain on the other side of the valley and somehow few off (much like a flee) and landed where it is now. On the top of the mountain is a series of glifos de los mayas (those the arquiologists haven’t succeeded in steeling yet). There used to be many of them and, in fact, last year there was (according to my Spanish teacher) a beautiful carving of a lion’s face, which has since been stolen. However there still remains a wonderful carving and also the remains of a glif, though it is hard to tell which one it is with the weathering.

The mayan ruins on the mountain were amazing to see and still hold import for some of the people in Pachaj.

Hope everyone at home is getting along in their daily lives without Guatemalan tortillas, because I know it will be hard for me without them when I get home.

Sincerely,

Abi

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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Pachaj es lo mejor!

Abigail McManus,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Hello folks at home! Pachaj is el mejor! Yesterday (so Wednesday) we worked more on our urban gardens, especialmente nuestro pared verde, they look brillante. Spanish classes (in our advanced level J) have taken a turn for the more interesting. For instance, ayer mi maestra y yo fuimos a su casa para cosinar chuchitos (un […]

Posted On

07/15/16

Author

Abigail McManus

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-13 10:21:32
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    [post_content] => Yesterday we arrived in Pachaj to learn from the Chico Mendez Reforestation project and meet our new homestay families. We came from Quetzaltenango, land of the Quetzals, where we spent one night in a hostel after leaving our first homestay families. Quetzaltenango is one of the most urban cities in Guatemala, but it still has traces of Mayan culture. Feathers of the Quetzal were once sold in Quetzaltenango because they used to be valued as a form of currency and a symbol of wealth to the Mayans. In Pachaj, the mountains and corn are an important symbol to the people that live here. We have already heard multiple ‘historias’ about the mountains and corn. Most of the land is dedicated to growing corn. Here the indigenous language is Quiche and it is also widely spoken throughout the community.  Yesterday we also met the homestay families that we will be staying with or the rest of the week in Pachaj.
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SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

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Pachaj!

Karlton Gaskin,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

Yesterday we arrived in Pachaj to learn from the Chico Mendez Reforestation project and meet our new homestay families. We came from Quetzaltenango, land of the Quetzals, where we spent one night in a hostel after leaving our first homestay families. Quetzaltenango is one of the most urban cities in Guatemala, but it still has […]

Posted On

07/13/16

Author

Karlton Gaskin

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-06 09:29:51
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    [post_content] => So far our experience in Guatemala has been great! Saturday night we arrived in San Antonio Palopo, a town just a 20 minute boat ride from San Lucas Toliman. The view of Lago Atitlan is stunning ( I took some pictures and attached them below, but they don't do it justice). We were paired with our homestay families and they are so kind. Despite our cultural and language differences, they treat us like family and bend over backwards to meet our daily needs. Regardless, and perhaps inevitably, its a bit of a culture shock. My hosts live in a humble home with concrete walls and a tin roof. Patrona, our homestay mom, cooks all of the family's meals over a fire.Running water is only available each day from 6:00-7:00 a.m., so she wakes up at 5:00 each morning to fill buckets and the pila (basically a large, multifunctional, water-friendly sink) for use later in the day. Washing clothing is a long, tedious process. I spent 30 minutes scrubbing and still only got through half of my laundry. All of this is not to suggest that my homestay experience has necessarily been negative. In fact, the case is quite the opposite. If Ive learned anything on this course so far, its that different is not necessarily a bad thing.Being pushed outside comfort zones is scary but also exhilarating. As a shy person who likes to stay inside her comfort zone, I was apprehensive about meeting and communicating with my homestay family. However, my time with the Peres family has so far held some of the most enriching and exciting moments of my life. Plus, its easy to find beauty in Guatemala, even amongst the many challenges. Right next to the pila Patrona spends hours working at is a gap in the wall that overlooks all of the lake. The view is worth a million dollars.

 

PS Sorry for grammatical mistakes and lack of punctuation. The keyboards here in the internet cafe are hard to work with.
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¡San Antonio Palopo!

Hadleigh Schwartz,SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week

Description

So far our experience in Guatemala has been great! Saturday night we arrived in San Antonio Palopo, a town just a 20 minute boat ride from San Lucas Toliman. The view of Lago Atitlan is stunning ( I took some pictures and attached them below, but they don’t do it justice). We were paired with […]

Posted On

07/6/16

Author

Hadleigh Schwartz

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