Before January 2010, I had not traveled outside the state of California or on an airplane. Both my parents migrated from the country of Guatemala to the United States to find opportunity that was lacked in their country.
On January 29, 2010 my dad passed away. Unfortunately, he was visiting Guatemala at the time. I always wanted to visit Guatemala, but never under those circumstances. The next day, my mom, my sister, and I flew to Guatemala. Because of the high ticket prices, my two sister and brother were unable to attend our fathers funeral.
When I arrived at Guatemala, I felt disoriented. I was emotionally unstable, but was curious about the country and my heritage. I stayed with my dad’s family and it was no resort. I had to shower with a bucket and pale. I used the bathroom in a cement hole. I slept on the same bed as my mom and sister. I saw my dad in a coffin. I met relatives I had never seen before.
Visiting Guatemala was one the most wonderful experiences of my life. Through self-analysis, I realized that the essentials in life are less then what we think. I didn’t see my favorite televisions show for two weeks. I didn’t check my myspace and facebook for two weeks. I didn’t text my friends about who I saw at the mall. I spent time with my family sitting down and talking about the realities of life. I learned that life show be simple.
Although it was a difficult situation, I experienced so much. I learned how to kill, pluck, and cook a chicken. For the first time in my life, I looked up at the night sky and couldn’t count all the stars in the sky. Every evening at five, I smelled the scent of burning trash in the air. I felt heat and rain at the same time. On the flight to Guatemala, I thought I would cry all day every day for two weeks, but instead I cried, smiled, and laughed. Every time my sisters that stayed home ask me about Guatemala, I tell them about how we traveled the town of Esperanza by “tuk-tuk” which is also known as a trishaw. I still laugh when I think about how we stuffed seven people into an auto motorcycle taxi. I might not know when I will visit Guatemala again, but I do know that I will. My dad and mom both have land there and because my experiences there, I am positive that I want to build a house there. I am proud to be Guatemalan. I am proud to know where I come from.
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