Danielle Houston

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As I flip through my notes and photos that were written and captured during my time spent in Guatemala, it’s hard for me to summarize my personal experiences in a few paragraphs because each memory is unforgettable. Guatemala is a place that I was able to call home within a time span of almost 4 months.

This all started because of my internship with Primeros Pasos where I gained an irreplaceable experience, and would not trade it for another opportunity. Primeros Pasos is a non-profit organization but has created a family atmosphere within the work place. The relationships and friendships that I had made, especially with my coordinators, are something that I will always cherish and reflect on. My internship position at Primeros Pasos was the Development and Communication Coordinator Assistant; I was very fortunate to have Camila as my Development supervisor with all her patience and trust in my work and in me. She allowed me to develop skills in areas that I did not have full experience in, such as website design. The communication we had with each other was great; we accepted and motivated each other with our ideas, and she trusted me to fulfill my duties and independent projects.

Additionally, before my arrival in Guatemala, I had outstanding communication and assistance from my Volunteer Coordinator, Michele. Michele was a great friend who always provided me with advice and helped me create a home in Xela. My experience wouldn’t have been as good if it wasn’t for Camila and Michele, they are the reason why I enjoyed my placement at Primeros Pasos. Primeros Pasos has unlimited opportunities for professional and personal development. I am very grateful for having the chance to expand my skills in new areas of interest.

The highlight of my journey, however, was the personal development and knowledge I gained while working at Primeros Pasos. I now have a better understanding of what kind of sector (in international development) I would like to enter after graduation. Additionally, I have been motivated to direct my lifestyle in a healthier direction. Furthermore, Primeros Pasos’ work, that is driven to reduce the malnutrition of children in rural communities and increase access to health services for those who are marginalized, was inspiring. It was amazing to see what kind of impact a small non-profit organization can have on a community, and how it can empower an individual through education and access to resources.

The adventures someone can have in Xela and at Primeros Pasos are limitless.

Primeros Pasos