By Michelle Bracken (Teresa’s daughter)
When waking up in the morning what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it that you just want to go back to sleep? Or maybe what clothes will you wear that day? Personally, the first thing I often think about is staying in bed till the last second. But, coming to Guatemala has really brought me in touch with the world around me and has gotten me out of that state of mind to look at the bigger picture.
We often think about ourselves first and not about how one decision can change a whole person’s life. Just by voting or simply littering on the street – our actions can affect someone’s life. This thought really made a dent in my mind after talking to a man named Francisco about the politics in Guatemala. He talked about how the government was unfair and had negatively affected his life. He also opened to tell us how how he got deported from the U.S. a while back. He described how when he came to America, he was in a trunk of a car with 8 other people. He was clenching his fist and while he was clinching his fist he felt his heart beat fade away in his hands. I had also met a guy in lake Atitlan who was worker he went on to say how he got deported from the U.S. and his children who were also teenagers where still in the U.S. since they were born in the U.S. and were citizens. Listening to these stories definitely made me more aware of how one decision that I could make could separate someones family and or negatively affect peoples everyday lives.
On the way back to Antigua, I remembered something Mrs. Valadez said – that having just one conversation can connect you with others, and that’s how I felt when talking to locals. By just one conversation we could relate and understand the people here better. When first coming here I thought about how different we would be since we were from different countries and cultures. But are we really all that different? We are all humans living on the same earth just in different ways.