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 →

Travel and Cooking – A Few of My Favorite Things!

Hola friends and family!

It’s hard to believe that I only have a month left here in Guatemala, the time has flown by! I have already mentioned more than once to my host family how I don’t know how I will be able to live without fresh tortillas at every meal, the gentle Guatemalan sun, and, of course, all of the family and friends I’ve made once I return to the States. I have come to love my temporary home here and I will dearly miss everyone I’ve met along the way.

At the same time, homesickness has started to settle in a little bit. I used to think that homesickness could only happen to a person if they were extremely unhappy with the situation or place they were in. I have learned, however, that this is not necessarily the case. While there have been challenges throughout my time here, I love the work that I am doing in Guatemala and everyone I have met who I’ve had the opportunity to share life with. Simultaneously, I miss the familiarity of home, I miss my family, and I miss taking my dog on walks. It is a strange in-between-state to be in, but I’m learning that it’s okay to enjoy my experiences here while still missing home. And that being said, I am extremely grateful for the technology we have today that allows me to stay in touch with my loved ones in the States! What a blessing to be able to remain in close communication virtually even while separated physically.

In other (more positive) news, I flew to Costa Rica for a quick trip a couple weeks ago in order to maintain my visa status in Guatemala. As you might remember, I am required to leave the country every 90 days. During my time there, I spent my days relaxing in the ocean, touring Manuel Antonio’s national park, and watching gorgeous sunsets (Pictures #1-2). I also saw sloths, dolphins, and so many monkeys (Pictures #3-4)! Additionally, I tried the traditional Costa Rican dish called casado. In Spanish, casado means “married man,” so I’m not quite sure why or how this dish got its name, but I do know that it is absolutely delicious! It includes rice, black beans, plantains, salad, and tortillas. This is honestly very similar to traditional Guatemalan food, so I felt right at home while I was eating it. Besides the extreme heat and humidity, the trip was a wonderful experience!

This week in cooking classes, we made rellenitos, my absolute favorite Guatemalan food! The very first week of school, the Chef asked me what Guatemalan dishes I enjoyed, and I promptly replied, rellenitos! Rellenitos are, essentially, a fried plantain patty filled with refried black beans. I know they sound strange, but I promise, they are so yummy and sweet! My host mom in Santa Cruz made them often which is how I grew to love them. The Chef was a little surprised by my answer, but promised we would make them at some point during the semester, and we finally did! The students had a lot of fun showing me how to prepare them and I was excited to learn! The kids and I ended up making over 100 rellenitos in total (pictures #5-6)!

As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Much love y hasta la próxima,


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