Why Guatemala? – Maria Pacheco

When I think of Guatemala, several things come to mind. The first one and the one I connect with the most is that I see Guatemala as the LAND OF SACREDNESS.

There are many challenges in Guatemala.  You name them – they exist.  We have environmental challenges, health challenges, educational challenges, democratic challenges, transparency challenges.

Yet there is a force that pulls me to my country.  Is it the beauty of the volcanoes, the magic of Lake Atitlan, the mysticism around pyramids? I don’t think so.   I love all of the above.  But I believe its something else that pulls me.

I believe it’s the mix between the gratefulness and the smiles of our people . . . and the deeper cries for hope.  It’s the combination of the hardships of everyday life with the appreciation for a simple meal.

It’s the contrast between dealing with scarcity and then celebrating one simple act of generosity.  It’s in the daily struggle of being afraid of our lack of security and then appreciating the warmth and beauty of our home.  It’s in the wonder of foreigners making Guatemala their country and Guatemalans making them feel like it is their home.  It’s in the combination of all of these emotions and feelings, that I find reasons to love Guatemala

At the heart of this country are big dreams – dreams for prosperity, for love, and one day, for peace.  We are far from this. It might even feel like we are going backwards somehow.  Until you look close.  Until you focus on the eyes of people not willing to give up, determined to keep trying, to keep working hard, to keep moving . . . all in the need to find those gates of hope . . . that place where once you cross the threshold, you know you have arrived at your destination . . . a destination where happiness, beauty, abundance, and love exist every day!

It’s in these eyes of the people, it’s the light that is in them, it’s the determination that is in them . . . that inspire me!  It’s the light that comes from within our people that keeps me going. . . it’s the dream of reaching the gates of hope that makes me take steps . . . big or small . . . with fear most of the time . . . and without fear sometimes.

Guatemala . . . it is a SACRED LAND!  The gates of hope are to be found in such a country.

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