Jenna Yordy
Jenna Yordy
Guatemala, 2023-2024
Hola! My name is Jenna Yordy, and I am a recent Global Leadership and TESL graduate. I am so excited to begin this 7 month journey in Guatemala, where I will be working at an orphanage in Cobán and at a trade school in Chimaltenango. Join me on this adventure as I experience living and working in Guatemala! Read More About Jenna →

Pigs, Bracelets, and Learning Italian

Hola friends and family!

I hope you all are doing well! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of making visits, hosting visitors, and, of course, celebrating Valentine’s Day. Although my school schedule allows for quite a bit of free time, it sure fills up quickly with fun, spontaneous activities with my host family and friends – and I’m not complaining!

To start things off, I am definitely falling into a rhythm with my classes at Monte Cristo. The kids are all my little (and a few not-so-little) siblings at this point, and I’m building relationships with the other teachers as well. I even taught the math professor how to play Sudoku, one of my favorite pastimes! Last week, I had the opportunity to ride on the school bus with the kids, something I normally do not do, and it was a lot of fun getting to chat with the kids outside of the school setting. Additionally, we celebrated el Día de Cariño (Valentine’s Day) by eating pizza and cake in our classrooms, as well as doing a small gift exchange (picture #1). Finally, in last week’s cooking classes, I was shocked and slightly horrified to discover we were cooking the head of a pig. And I mean the entire head. (For those of you who are brave enough, I attached a picture below.) The pot we used to cook it was so big, I could have easily fit inside of it. All of that to say is, I did not really enjoy eating this dish, but it is quite probable that witnessing the cooking process effected my taste buds (picture #3).

As you might remember, the city of Antigua is fairly close to Chimaltenango, so it is an easy car or bus ride to go back and forth. I have a few friends around my age in Antigua that I met through the language school there, so it has been fun making time to see them on occasion. For example, a few weekends ago, a friend came and visited me in Chimaltenango! Because I am really only familiar with the general area around where I live, we took time to explore a different part of the city. We encountered a centro comercial (mall) as well as a yummy coffee shop. At one point while we were meandering around the mall, I heard a few people speaking English and I was visibly shocked. For context, there are very few native English speakers in this area. My friend and I shared a good laugh over my reaction!

The past few weeks have been very fun with my host family as well. They took me to a different centro comercial to eat dinner at one night, and we also strolled along all of the outdoor shops. I’ve also taken up bracelet making thanks to my host dad, Mario! When he was around my age, he was in a severe motorcycle accident which confined him to his bed for almost a year. During that time, he learned how to play a few instruments as well as how to make many different patterns of bracelets. He has been sharing his knowledge with me over the past few weeks, and I’m catching on slowly but surely!

Finally, last week we hosted some lovely visitors, a woman and her family, from Italy. The woman stayed with my host family and volunteered at Monte Cristo for two months, similar to myself, about 20 years ago. She had always wanted to bring her family back to Guatemala to share her experiences with them, and they were finally able to make the trip this year. She has a 16-year-old daughter, Anna, who I really enjoyed chatting with, and she even taught me some Italian! Don’t ask me to repeat it, though, my brain is already preoccupied with learning Spanish! During their visit, we all (as in, the whole extended family) piled into a big van and went out to get ice-cream, a favorite activity in this household. Then, we all gathered back at the house to eat dinner, laugh, and share stories together. It was a wonderful evening that I will never forget!

As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Much love y hasta la próxima,



One of the many beautiful flowers on Monte Cristo’s campus!


2 thoughts on “Pigs, Bracelets, and Learning Italian”

  1. You are having such an amazing time!! You are in our thoughts all the time!!’ We love you!!

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