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Give Back: Guatemala

A memory came up the other day from this incredibly life changing trip. So, I sat down at my computer and revisited these photos that hold so much meaning to me.

I was given the opportunity to photograph the volunteer efforts of Aldea Maya, a non-profit that hosts volunteer trips to Guatemala. These trips are based around the idea of gathering a group of individuals to stay in a little town in the Guatemalan Highlands called Chuk Muk (pronounced chook mook) and help the community with various projects. Little did I know then, that this trip would open my eyes to the world around me.

We embarked on a 2-week stay in Chuk Muk completing sustainable service work, building gardens for the town and supplying the community with water filters. We drank as much local coffee as we could (by the way, the best cup of coffee I’ve had to date!), pet every stray dog we came across and hiked an active volcano (s’mores roasting included). The fellow volunteers came from all of the world and we stayed in a jungle estate together during our stay.

There was one moment from my time there that I will never forget: giving the children school supplies and toys. The sweet smiles and pure joy that came from the kids was absolutely priceless. They were endlessly grateful for such small items that we take for granted here.

It’s crazy to think that although this town has so little, they seemed to be some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life. I’ll be back for you Guatemala.

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