The Stars in Guatemala
My Last Sunrise in Guatemala

Saying goodbye to Guatemala was hard. My return to the U.S. wasn’t a happy one, even with being able to see friends and loved ones I missed. Getting here meant unlearning all of my Guatemala-specific habits I’d gotten so used to, and even now I catch myself trying to brush my teeth the same way or to throw away toilet paper. You’d be surprised what you get used to and how quickly, and doubly surprised at how long it takes to unlearn it. Seeing Dr. Pepper on shelves, something oddly absent from Guatemala’s many well-stocked convenience stores, was a favorite change of my group once we returned. But losing the closeness and vibrancy of living with so many people, interacting with a new culture with surprises every day, is something I’ve sorely missed. Having breakfast with so many of my classmates every morning and dinner every night was a lot of fun, even when we were exhausted and quiet. Knowing we had each other through the harder parts of the trip made it all so much easier.

Guatemala’s beautiful sunrises and sunsets will never leave my memory. The sights and sounds of Antigua, with the blasts of fireworks morning and night, the bustling center square, the coffee shops that are bigger on the inside than the outside, the religious and cultural centers all around; all of it I miss. The passageways with flowers draping down the walls and the outdoor concerts, the smell of fields of mint in Mayan ruins, the chocolate museums’ new tastes and experiences, and so much more are unpriceable memories. If you get the chance to go to Guatemala, go. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the trip! My email is I can promise it would be the event of a lifetime.

They say going to another country for the first time will change your view of the world. I was skeptical, but truly, Guatemala changed my idea of what I want my future to be and how I want to live. I learned a lot while I was there, about comradery, culture, conformity, and comfort; all of these were lessons I needed to experience to seek a better and more fulfilled life for myself upon my return to the U.S. I’ve realigned myself with my values and opened doors to a brighter, bigger future. Guatemala will always have a place in my heart for showing me so much beauty and light and reality in the world, the good and the bad. I hope to return one day soon with friends, so I can show my loved ones here the wonder of such an amazing country.