This summer, I was able to travel to Guatemala to study Spanish while getting to know the culture from an inside perspective. This was my second trip to Central America, the first being with JBU. Traveling to Guatemala independently this summer was such a fascinating and exciting experience! All I knew was who was picking me up and dropping me off from the airport; the rest was spontaneous.
Julio Orozco, a sophomore Walton student, hosted me for two weeks at his home in the Capital. Living with a host family allowed me to truly be a part of the culture and practice my Spanish. It was so much fun exploring the city with Julio and his brother, Pablo. Whether we were watching action movies in Spanish, writing songs or shopping in the Central Market, the Orozcos truly made me feel like a Guatemalan.
I also spent time at a girl’s home and school in Chimaltenango, a small city outside the Capital. I enjoyed taking part in the everyday life of this lively community while getting to know the heart of the local church. I hope to return to Chimaltenango next summer for an ethnographic internship, further studying the culture and faith of this community.
My favorite part of the trip was getting to lead worship at a youth rally with Julio and his friends. First of all, these guys are some of the funniest people I have ever met! Not to mention how incredibly talented they are as musicians. The community we were blessed to worship with was full of zeal, joy and vigor for the Lord. I was so encouraged to see teenagers and young adults my age pursuing Christ with intentionality. I remember getting chills as I sang “Revelation Song” in Spanish and realizing how incredible our God is. He transcends all borders, languages and cultures. How cool is that?
I loved every second I spent in Guatemala this summer and cannot wait to return next year to continue my adventures.