Updated: Sep 30, 2020
"You'll be challenged physically, mentally & emotionally and I invite you to lean into that discomfort”
In every way Jordan Menzel, our guide was right.
The past 7 days have transformed me in a lot of ways and for each I'm grateful. I went on this doTerra Co-Impact Sourcing trip to Guatemala because I wanted to see the value chain with my own eyes. In that sense I got exactly what I came for as we watched cardamom be planted, harvested, dried, and distilled. We literally participated alongside the 3rd and 4th generation farmers as they taught us exactly how one of our favourite oils comes to be.
Learn more about doTerra’s Co-Impact Sourcing initiatives around the world here: https://youtu.be/Q70EFAddZdI
What I didn't expect on this trip was to bond in such deep way with the 30 people who made up our group of expeditioners. Together we worked on a project to expand the facility used to train village members in areas such as carpentry and masonry. These skills support growth and sustainability in a village where they are not looking for a hand out but rather a hand up. The collective efforts in the scorching sun were rewarded with amazing meals and beautiful discussions under the grass hut at Sikaab'e which translates to "find your path". A beautiful vocational school in the Guatemalan jungle built by doTerra's Healing Hands foundation funds and operated in partnership with Choice Humanitarian. Words cannot fully articulate the peace found in this space nor the friendship and kindness that was shared by all.
Learn more about doTerra’s Healing Hands Projects here:
It hurts to witness extreme poverty the way we did in Guatemala but it fills the soul to actually SEE that the material things we see as "missing" in their lives does not seem to lessen the love they have for one another and for their communities. I witnessed more happy faces and pure joy than I would have ever thought possible. I saw endless examples of human connection despite the language barriers amongst us as we blew bubbles, played games, held babies and painted nails. I especially loved sharing the experience of a photograph with them. Many of them had never seen an image of themselves and it was touching to see the reactions of laughter, embarrassment and excitement.
Days for Girls was by far my favourite part of the entire experience and I knew it would be. This program offers women from approximately age 10 to 45 an opportunity to learn the entire female reproductive cycle. Many have never been educated in this way. Approximately 100 women showed up from the village to take part in this session which offered all of them the dignity they deserve and empowers them to direct their lives with their new knowledge. It was inspiring to see the intense way they listened to every word. Many of the younger girls giggled just like the girls anywhere else in the world do when they begin to learn this. We distributed the beautiful Days for Girls Kits to the women and they held on to the pretty bags filled with feminine hygiene supplies like it was their greatest treasure.
The beauty of this trip will continue to wash over me as I reflect on what I have experienced. I'm grateful to have aligned with doTerra and proud to know that the partnerships the company chooses to make like that with Choice Humanitarian are having profoundly positive effects all over the world. I'm honoured to have spent the week with the most loving and beautiful people that I now call my forever friends. For the vibrant and soulful personalities that guided us all week long, Jordan Menzel, Hortencia Castañeda and Olger Pop I am forever grateful.
To every member of this experience this past week please know that you hold a special place in my heart. Our memories together of Guatemala will shape the way I live my life going forward. I've been stretched, it got uncomfortable on more than one occasion but it was worth it. Every part of it was worth it. To have experienced every last bit of this beside my husband is a joy that literally leaves me speechless.
We are blessed xo