A recap of traveling with Winthrop U students in Guatemala

In May of 2012 I traveled with 7 students from Winthrop University to Guatemala on a trip arranged and led by The Village Experience.   Here was our itinerary.

I wanted a place to compile all that was said about the trip. This is that place.

Jennifer Sandler, Winthrop’s study abroad coordinator, as quoted on the Winthrop University website: The students were exposed to so many new experiences, ideas, situations and people, and they were nothing but engaged and enthusiastic the entire program. We were all sad to leave Guatemala, but I firmly believe that the students’ fire for travel and international experiences has been stoked, hopefully never to be extinguished.

My post 7 things I learned traveling with 7 college co-eds: #5 Seeing with your heart is more important than seeing with your eyes.

Kelly Campbell on the education that comes with traveling:  Last week I had the pleasure of leading a group from Winthrop University to Guatemala to carry the knowledge they learned from Kelsey Timmerman’s book, “Where Am I Wearing” into the field. This group of young women were new to traveling, the developing world, and stepping outside of their comfort zones in general. They came with only a small backpack and Keene sandals, but they left with half the market and memories to last a lifetime.

Lauren Miller on First World Problems: After this trip to Guatemala, I am learning to not take things for granted. I hope people will realize that no first world problem is a problem; it is a blessing.

Fatima Castro on putting her Spanish major to use: Talking to the women in the markets, some of the students in the rural village of Ceylan, and our tour guide, Jairo, gave me the opportunity to see the story behind the people.

Ali Jensen ponders American Selfishness: In America, we are so concerned with excess nutrition. Are we getting too much sugar? Are we getting too much salt? Is our food genetically altered? Guatemalans don’t get to indulge in the wonder of excess, just the bare minimum. Their diets consist mostly of beans, rice, and tortillas; not too much nutritional variance in that.

Anita Harris on the importance of people over things  We traveled to Guatemala with Kelsey, after having read his book Where Am I Wearing? Where he traveled to meet the people who made his clothes. The factory visit was interesting. We did not have the opportunity to enter, but Kelsey was able to talk to a worker. It was still exciting. This has been an awesome experience. I look forward to visiting again.

Callan Gaines finds that beauty lies in povertyWith poverty comes a sense of humility and gratitude which is rarely found in my own home country. While the people have far less than most Americans, they are much more selfless with the little things they have. When we visited the rural village of Ceylan, there was an amazing feeling of community. The incredible power of a smile or hug was so evident in this impoverished village, despite the fact I couldn’t speak the language of the Ceylan people. It was an experience which I know has changed my life.

It was a great trip and something that I intend to replicate with more universities in the future. If you’re interested, in such a trip, email me hi@kelseytimmerman.com and I’ll put you in touch with Kelly, who actually knows how to plan a trip.


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