Guatemala 2019 - Reflections from Student Jatavia Allen

My experience in Guatemala was a great opportunity. I had lots of fun and got to experience a lot of new things that I never had before. Also, I saw and learned a lot of things that were eye openers for me. I had so much fun but, also saw things that made me sad, and appreciate the things I have here at home. Another, thing I learned about was what it looks like to have a positive attitude.

Some of the stuff we did in Guatemala that I thought was fun were a number of things. First, was building stoves in the community for the families that needed them, it was fun because we got to interact with the families especially the little kids. The second thing was being able to work with the medical team. I really liked it because I got to have the experience of working in the medical field. I was able to shadow an OBGYN and learn a bunch of medical terms. We were also able to watch the surgeons perform surgeries. The last thing that was very fun was visiting Antigua. It was very cool to walk around the city and see all the shops and the square. We participated in a scavenger hunt for objects and places in Antigua. We also went to the McDonald’s there (and their food is way better than the one in America).

Some things that I saw on the trip that were kind of sad was seeing the living situations that the people to live with and how they had to survive without things that we have here in America. It really was an eye opener for me to see how happy the little kids were and just so grateful for the things they have. The families that we built the stoves for were very appreciative for this wood burning stove. One man went to the store and bought my team lunch, set up a table, and told us that he had brought us lunch that he wanted us to have because he was so grateful. Seeing people living without the things that I have here at home made me very grateful for the things that I have.

The main important lesson I learned was what a positive attitude is and I learned that from the Baker’s Field medical team. When the medical team arrived on base where they would be staying, their sleeping arrangements were not set up, so the team had to sleep on the cots. Since there weren’t enough, some people had to sleep on the floor. But even though the team didn’t have somewhere to sleep comfortably at night after working hard helping patients all day long, they still woke up every morning and had a positive attitude. They were all kind to everyone in our group.

I had so much fun and I would love to be able to go again!