Monday, May 16, 2016
We were sitting in the Atlanta airport eating pizza. This random man sitting next to us asked us where we were headed. We said that we were on our way to Guatemala for a mission trip. He took a serious interest in our trip that I was not expecting and then handed us $100 as a donation to our mission. We had not even made it out of the United States yet and this trip was already exposing the true generosity in people.
I will admit that I had some fears about this trip. I was afraid of seeing the poverty and all of the dangers that come along with it. There is no way of predicting what may happen and what someone may do. However, these fears seemed to drift away as soon as we exited customs into Guatemala. I met the nicest, most welcoming security guard carrying a machine gun I had ever seen. I had not even left the airport and I was already understanding a little more of what these people were really like.
As we drove down the streets of Guatemala City the rich culture overwhelmed me. Guatemala is filled with breathtaking architecture and amazing graffiti that lined the walls for what seemed like uninterrupted miles. It was truly beautiful even though I had no idea what it said. Later in the day we learned about all the poverty Guatemala is faced with and the struggles that encompass their entire nation. Even with all of this tragedy that the people here have to push through everyday, these people and their culture is beautiful. Everyone that I met today reminded me why I am really here.
All throughout my life I have wanted to do something significant and make some sort of change. I want to have an impact on the world, but that isn't something that happens overnight nor is it something you can do on your own. One of the men we met today, Hector, told us that it is not our job to change Guatemala throughout this week, the hope is for Guatemala to change us. This made me realize what I am really here for. This next week is meant to open my eyes to new things and make me question everything I think I know. I am not meant to make some sort of life altering change for this nation this week, but throughout what I have experienced already, I know that this week is going to alter me in a life changing way. And with that, maybe one day along with the help of others I could make a real change.
-Allison Lee Craft