Hilary Hambrick Taft
Hilary Hambrick Taft
Guatemala 2013-2014
I am volunteering at the Monte Cristo Center in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. This family-run community development center provides education, healthcare, & vocational training to the surrounding community. I will assist with teaching English and computer literacy as well as possibly working on a micro-loan fund for local farmers. Read More About Hilary →

Volcanoes & Coffee Trees

The last week has felt like 100 days, 100 days of new words, people, foods, and complexity. The language barrier has been significant, but I can feel myself progressing as I rapidly learn new words each day. The school we´re working at, Centro Educativo Monte Cristo (CEMOC), has been remarkably patient and generous with us.

We are living in a volunteer house with five spacious rooms and bathrooms with hot water. Our backyard literally has a volcano and coffee trees.

Here´s a view of our volunteer house:

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See that huge mountain in the background...? Yep, that´s a volcano.

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The food has been delicious- tamales, red pepper chicken, and grilled carne have been my favorites so far. Each day I work on learning more Spanish and usually help in the kitchen preparing the meals for the 100 students and teachers here. Eric and I are the first North Americans to stay at CEMOC for any extended period of time, so it´s taking everyone a little while to get used to us. We´ve made lots of friends among the school´s staff and hope to gain the students´trust as the days go by.



We picked a great week to arrive in Guatemala, though! It was the National Holiday of Guatemala, so we got to participate in alot of festivities. The students dressed up in tradional clothing and prepared tradional food for everyone.


We saw the city parade in Chimaltenango last Saturday and celebrated in Antigua on Sunday. All in all, I´m having a blast and can´t believe how much fun the next year is going to be! More updates to come.

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