In May of 2016, Poudre High School student, Liana Price-Foster, was awarded a scholarship for a 10-day trip in Central America. In August of 2016, Liana went to Guatemala with her scholarship that was sponsored by GoAbroad.com, Walking Tree Travel, and the City of Fort Collins. We met with Liana, as well, as Annie Bierbower from the City of Fort Collins to learn more about her experience in Guatemala!
How would you describe Guatemala?
I would say Guatemala is more rustic than America. Instead of big skyscrapers there is never-ending, luscious greenery. It’s less modern, but to me that feels more personal. Guatemala also contains a deep sense of history. It’s culture stands out because many old traditions are still being practiced, and even after many generations, little has been altered.
Why should others consider volunteering in Guatemala?
Others should consider volunteering in Guatemala for so many reasons. Of course it’s an excellent way to experience a different culture. However, it is also great for making connections with people you normally wouldn’t — to get more educated, to contribute to society in a positive matter, and it’s a good way to get out of your comfort zone and expand yourself as a person. I could honestly go on forever!
Would you recommend this program with Walking Tree Travel? Why or why not?
I would 100% recommend a program with Walking Tree Travel. They do such a good job making sure that you feel safe and welcomed. Not only were my group leaders awesome, relatable, and knowledgeable, down to earth, and just fun, but the other students that participated in the trip with me were too!
What else would you like to share with future volunteers?
I’d just like to say that you can do it! I remember when the trip was just around the corner and I was so nervous to be out of the country all by myself. I’d never been to Guatemala. I’d never been outside of the country without my family. Everything was going to be unfamiliar and I was scared. I had so much anxiety about it, and in my head I was trying to figure out a way that I could get out of it. I cannot put into words how happy I am that I went through with it. So if you’re second guessing yourself — don’t.
Where would you like to go next?
Next, I would love to go to Thailand! Walking Tree Travel has a program where students work in an elephant sanctuary. To me that’s a dream come true! In addition, I’ve never been immersed in an Asian culture even though I’d really like to be. I’ve only been to Spanish speaking countries like Costa Rica and Mexico. Even though I want to go back to visit, I’d like to try somewhere new because I want to experience as many different places as I can.