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 →

Semana de Expresión

Hola friends and family!

My last few weeks have been busy with exams and Semana de Expresión (Expression Week). At the end of every quarter, Monte Cristo students are rewarded for making it through their exams with a week of fun activities including cooking and dance competitions! The students have been practicing and planning out their ideas for weeks and it was a lot of fun to watch their hard work come to fruition. Heads up – there are a LOT of pictures in this blog!

To start things off, the students took their quarterly exams for their music and dance classes by showcasing to the whole school what they have learned so far. The senior class asked me to join them in singing a song to start out the program and I, of course, couldn’t say no, so we sang a classic called, Un Idiota, together while the music professor accompanied us with guitar. Un Idiota is an extremely dramatic love song which made it hard for us all to keep straight faces throughout the performance, but thankfully we managed!

We started out la Semana de Expresión with a cooking competition (pictures #1-4)! The students were paired up with a classmate and were required to come up with a unique dish and prepare it for a panel of judges. I was extremely impressed with how creative the students were and how tasty all of their dishes were! Some of my favorites included Oreo pancakes, apple pound cake with strawberry topping, and baked ribs. The overall winner was a chicken lasagna in the shape of a Bundt cake – both creative and delicious!

Day two included a spelling bee, jeopardy, and math games! I have to admit, I originally thought a spelling bee in Spanish would be quite easy, because unlike English, Spanish is a phonetic language which means that words are always spelled exactly like they sound. As I played along in my head, however, I discovered pretty quickly that it was harder than I’d anticipated! Later we moved onto the math/science games which included things like sudoku and strategy exercises (pictures #5-7). The students had ten minutes to complete the game/exercise at each station, so they had to move quickly and think on their feet!

Day three included competitions in drawing, dancing, and reenacting skits! Although I am musically inclined, I am not necessarily great in other artistic areas, so to say I was impressed with the students’ abilities, especially their drawing skills, is an understatement (pictures #8-10)! For the dancing competition, each grade had to perform a traditional and a non-traditional dance. I had only seen a few of the dances prior to the competition, so it was very fun to get to see what the students came up with. One of my favorites was a traditional country line dance that included swinging a few of the members around in the air! Finally, the skits brought great amounts of entertainment and laughter and was a great way to end the day.

We ended la Semana de Expresión by celebrating Monte Cristo’s 21st anniversary! We all gathered in the dining hall to commune and celebrate this special moment together (picture #11). We ate lots of delicious food, drank unhealthy amounts of horchata, and sang happy birthday to Monte Cristo! Afterwards, the seniors started singing Un Idiota with their music teacher, while I stood nearby watching. No one had informed me that we were singing the song, so I just assumed they were doing it for fun. Well, as the chorus came up (where I came in when we’d previously performed it), the seniors started frantically motioning for me to come over and join them. I had no idea that we would sing the song together again, but it ended up being such a beautiful moment and one I’ll hold in my heart forever.

As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Much love y hasta la próxima,



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