In Guatemala, students sees importance of people over things

Anita (left) speaking with a local of Ceylan, Guatemala.
This guest post is brought to you by Anita Harris, a junior at Winthrop University studying mass communications with a minor in Spanish, and one of seven students who traveled with Kelly Campbell of the Village Experience and me to Guatemala. Anita loves people. She said that this trip didn’t just enlighten her about where her clothes come from, but it also immersed her in a Spanish speaking culture for the first time. Anita’s cancer as a child impaired her vision, but she doesn’t let it stop her. She walked up mountains and zip lined. It was an absolute honor to travel with Anita and watch her see the world.

Hello everyone! I am pleased to share my experience in Guatemala with Kelsey Timmerman, Kelly, Jennifer, and several other Winthrop students. I am so grateful to have gone on this trip.

The village experience really changed my life, from the bumpy truck ride to the hungry children, to the old lady whose home collapsed after the rain. The experience made me realize how everyone is so individualized in America. The Guatemalan people help one another and care for each other’s well-being. I was so sad when I saw all the hungry and malnourished children. They were so little. I really desire to help them now by fundraising money to send to feed them. I so admire people like Nina, the executive director of Vamos Adelante, who take the time to care for these people.

Their homes are so small compared to ours. These people are so happy. Materials thing seem to stimulate our happiness. The villagers of Ceylan are so content with the small things they have. Surprisingly, meeting them and seeing their lack of things didn’t make me miss the comforts of home, but made me miss my family.
I’m so thankful for my family. They are such a blessing.

The churches here are structured so nicely. I love the design of the arches and the paintings that are very symbolic.

This has been an awesome experience. I look forward to visiting again. 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.

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 funny thing was that Kelsey bought a Guatemalan soccer jersey for his son and it was made in….the United States!

Stinger Contos says:

Excellent! To experience your life rather than just live it is an amazing gift. Kelsey you get a great big gold star for this trip! Anita? She gets 2!

Kelsey says:

Thanks, Stinger! As a teacher, I suppose you’re allowed to hand out great big gold stars. Anita was awesome. Definitely one of those people that you meet and know you won’t forget. You should’ve seen her hiking mountains. Fearless.

Jen Sandler says:

Three cheers for Anita! Anita was the most intrepid traveler, and it was such a pleasure to watch her experience life in Guatemala.

Kelsey says:

I’ll add a 4th cheer! Loved her sense of fearless adventure.

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