Tag Archives: Guatemala


Oftentimes I find myself sitting with my accounting book open wondering WHY? Why am I even attempting to memorize the EPS ratio, master liquidity analysis, or complete a cash disbursement budget?

Then I remember my motivation, and it helps me press on. My motivation is the smiles of the poor children from the villages in Guatemala.  Before I share a story with you, I would like to share what I’ve learned about motivation. I aspire to start a non-profit organization to help education and businesses prosper in countries with developing areas. In order to be motivated you need to match your efforts to your most treasured goals. I study accounting so I can be the best fit for a founder of a non-profit. I exercise so I can inspire others to better their bodies. I love, so others will love. Why do you do what you do? If what you’re doing does not match your passion, you must change it. Don’t waste your life away. 

Motivation: When I was in Guatemala helping at an organization, El Buen Samaritino, that provides education to children from impoverished, broken homes, I found my motivation. The children there were taught in a converted laundry room (a picture is above). They were hungry, and sometimes there was no water. Yet, every single day they smile. Smile so big it would sometimes make me tear up. Although their homes were probably a few rooms, their parents (if they even had two parents) were working at whatever job could be found or struggling with addictions, their clothes were from the nearest clothes drive, their teeth were already rotted, their stomach’s growled… I could go on and on…however, they STILL SMILE. THEY ARE HAPPY. They love God, they love anyone who shows them love. It is marvelous. I am motivated to make life better for these children. And the founder of El Buen Samaritino, Magda, is my role model. Magda understands the importance of love, and being there for all who are in need, even when she is in need. This woman has had cancer twice, lives in a room connected to the organization, and despite having no income she finds a way to feed all the school children. She is a gift from God. Although it is respectable when the more fortunate help the less fortunate, it is even more admirable when those who need help those who need. The definition of Magda. That is truly selfless. It is motivating to share the beautiful world with others, like Magda, who see my vision of leaving the world better than when I entered it. A challenging task.

Whatever motivates you, work toward it… without any doubt, no matter what the world thinks. 

Now back to financial analysis and balancing budgets…


¿Qué valoras?

As I sat in the Rainbow Cafe with Matilde in Antigua, Guatemala, we contemplated living. We both know we want to do something extraordinary with our lives, and living the normal seemed a depressing circumstance for both of us.

It was decided that the norm went something like this – childhood filled with discovery, school, vacations, school, work and fall in love, get married, have beautiful children, reach some career goals, relax, die. That description wasn’t meant to be crude, it was just how I thought of the norm. But then it hit me, people who live the norm CAN BE happy, sometimes that’s even the path people WANT. Why? Well, I can’t answer that question. I’m setting myself up to do something extraordinary. However, I learned I am in no place to judge someone for not striving for extraordinary if happiness is what they value, and what they found. Especially if they found love. But then again, I should not even judge their values. What if their value was success, and they found it by living the norm? That is a feat to be proud of! It’s just not me, and I cannot fool myself.

Now that I had no problem outlining what I am not, the tough part comes trying to convey who I am. I know I value love, happiness, and the extraordinary. Love – it takes so many forms, and with love you can do so much. In my dreams of starting a non-profit organization I know love will be so important. Everyone needs love. (And if you don’t believe this, I am actually curious your argument so please comment below!) Happiness – it’s a perspective. How are you going to look at the world? The extraordinary – take risks. I know many people will despise me for saying this, but YOLO. Do something EXTRAORDINARY that you LOVE everyday, with a HAPPY heart.

Happy: enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.

The ultimate question: Am I happy in my life? And, if I’m not happy, what can I do to get there?

Why is happiness so important? I mean it must be important if our founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence.“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our happiness is protected by the government…must be a big deal then! People always say, “just be happy.” But, if there is a bunch of things distracting your happiness – heartbreak, deadlines, a negative friend – how the heck are you supposed to “just be happy”?

I surprised myself. I discovered that regardless of whatever is roadblocking your happiness, a change of outlook can make you feel like the happiest person alive.

Matilde, an amazing friend, who I met when helping at El Buen Samaritino (a wonderful organization teaching children who otherwise would not have the opportunity of education) was the driving force in ‘figuring out my life’. (need some help with this expression? Check out my definition at the end of this post) I was really missing my friends and family while in Guatemala, and I told her that I didn’t understand why this was happening because I was only there for a week. She told me that missing them is a GREAT thing, especially in my ‘figuring out my life’ phase, that it meant I am happy in the life I am living, missing the happiness I was used to. WOW. She was right. And being in Guatemala, around so much joy, reinforced that I am happiest when I am impacting society, spreading some love.

So, I figured that out. I am happy in my life. But, there is many more things to figure out..Purpose. Love. What am I doing. What’s important to me.

If you’re going to read anything in this post, read this. Gandhi summed it up perfectly, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
So, now that I am back in the United States I am ready to take on thinking, saying, and doing all the same. Wanting to change the world one helping hand at a time.

‘figuring out my life’  an obscure wording  I use to describe my endless thoughts on..achieving ultimate happiness, understanding what love means to me, how can I let my passions shine everyday, how can I show people how amazing they really are..to name a few. 

Soul Time

I traveled to Jocotenango, Guatemala in March 2013, because I was sick of sitting on the beach and doing nothing over my spring breaks. I knew I wanted to help people when I was there, and hopefully gain a new perspective on what living really means. I didn’t understand love. I didn’t understand the purpose of living. I often questioned if I was actually happy in my life. So I packed a bag and headed there for a week, alone, ready to figure out my life. (I’m not sure what this blog will ultimately be about, but I’m sure my endless thoughts in Guatemala will take up most of the posts.)

Before I left for Guatemala, I told my mom that I was determined to figure out my life during this week. She seemed happy for me, and then asked, “What if you don’t, what if you don’t feel inspired?” I laughed at the thought, but I took it to heart. What if I don’t find out anything, and I returned to the exact conundrums in my life that I was trying to escape? Well, that would just suck big time.

That did not happen, though. I figured out just what I set out to. And for some reason, I feel like sharing some of those ideas with the world.