We call it an "experience" because we guarantee that you will never be the same person again after spending time in our programs, with our staff, and giving back to our children, families, and communities.
is 19 and comes from "the green heart of Germany," an area of the
country covered in forest. Back home, she spends a lot of time outdoors, walking or sitting in the sun, reading. If she's outside,
she's happy. She's been in Guatemala for two months; the first was
spent learning Spanish. When Beatrice isn't hanging out in Antigua's famous
traveler's haunt,The Rainbow Cafe- where she especially enjoys
Wednesday's open mic night- she spends her time with Nuestros Ahijados, working
predominantly in Casa Jackson
Malnutrition Center. Although this is her first travel experience outside of Europe, she has really enjoyed her Guatemalan adventure. Her only piece of advice is to be flexible and open to anything. She's had a lot of fun volunteering…
apart from when the babies throw up on her (this comment was
preceded by a baby throwing up on her). When she leaves, Beatrice is headed to Poland to learn Polish, before
going back to Germany to pursue a career in
advertising or journalism.
56, is an ex-NATO officer from Florida. Nearly a year ago, he
came to Guatemala for a two-week
vacation. When he returned home, he sold his property maintenance business and
his house, and moved to Antigua. As a Christian, Patrick says he
has to help make a real difference, which means being where people have the
most need. He's found his niche working at Casa
Jackson Malnutrition Center, especially in the kitchen preparing meals. Patrick
is no stranger to living abroad, having spent 12 years overseas during his time
in the Army. He's lived everywhere from
Saudi Arabia to Greece to a tiny island in the
middle of the Bering Sea! He has no plans to head back to the US anytime soon.
Miriam is 20 years old and from
Germany. Before starting with Nuestros
Ahijados, she spent a month in Antigua studying Spanish- something
she recommends to get the most out of the volunteer experience. Miriam spends a lot of time
volunteering at Casa Jackson Malnutrition
Center, feeding, changing and bathing the children. She's tried her hand in a
couple of Nuestros Ahijados's other programs, and also helped the disaster relief effort in Ciudad Vieja following the mudslide caused by Tropical Storm Agatha. Super active back at home, Miriam sings in a
choir, plays netball and volleyball, and plays
three instruments! Two years ago, her father visited Guatemala, and his tales inspired both Miriam and her sister, Astrid,
to visit. Miriam is a fan of La
Esquina on a Wednesday nights for a bit of salsa action!
is from Germany and is traveling with her sister Miriam. She just
celebrated her 27 birthday here in Antigua! Back home, Astrid is an orthopaedic nurse but needed a break from work, so she took unpaid leave to visit Guatemala. She enjoys the freedom
and flexibility of working in Casa
Jackson Malnutrition Center, where she says you can play
with and spend time with the kids. This is a refreshing change for her, as at
home she doesn't have the chance to interact much with her patients. Her
one frustration is that she wishes her Spanish was better to communicate
better with the parents and nurses at Casa Jackson, in order to find out
more about each child. Astrid likes
Tuesday at Mono Loco
(ladies night and not for the faint-hearted!) and Thursday at La
Sala. For a more relaxed beverage and chat, you'll find her inCafe NoSe...just don't ask for a mojito!
Noemi, 18, took a break from studies after high school in Belgium. Noemi is a teacher's aide at The Dreamer Center. She leads music and sports classes.
While volunteering, Noemi visited the families of the students she teaches. "Seeing the home environments of the children I teach has given me insight into
how they live and who they are," she says. Noemi also writes the children's stories to send to their sponsors in the Padrinos program. Her
favorite part of Nuestros Ahijados is the freedom. "I don’t feel
obliged to do any particular thing, and this freedom makes me want to do even
more to help," she said. Noemi enjoys traveling in Guatemala, and particularly enjoys the culture of small towns
and villages that tourists don't normally visit. An avid dancer, Noemi loves
salsa dancing, particularly at Sin
Joy, 19, is from Dickenson, North
Dakota and primarily works at Casa Jackson Malnutrition Center, but
also helps with Friday food distribution and at Albergue Santa Madre homeless shelter.
She visited a family in the Institute for
Trafficked, Exploited, and Missing Persons (ITEMP)'s rehabilitation program as they prepared to receive a house built by one of Nuestros Ahijados's service teams.
Her favorite moments were with the 9- and 11-year-old
daughters of this family. She was struck that neither girl
smiled the entire time, but the 9-year-old gave all the volunteers hugs after
the home dedication ceremony. "I like how the kids are a part of the process.
They don't just receive help, but also help others and- more importantly- have
the chance to help themselves," Joy said. Her favorite spot in Antigua is Cafe No Se because back home there is a bar named I Don't Know. She also liked riding the zip line at Finca Filadelfia.
If you would like to ask Joy questions, e-mail at: [email protected]
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