Hello and Welcome!
My name is Nikki Raccio and I will be documenting the lives and adventures of the 2014 Guatemala ASB group! There’s a grand total of 10 of us heading to the small town of Ciudad Vieja just outside of Antigua. We are leaving bright and early Saturday, March 22nd and return again Saturday, March 29th. While there, we will be working on a coffee farm through the organization As Green As It Gets. Their goal is “to help those in poverty by enabling them to increase their income by engaging in well-paying economic activity”. It’s very exciting for all of us to learn just what coffee means for their economy and sustainability as we will be working personally with farmers and the coffee. (learn more about AGAIG here: https://www.asgreenasitgets.org/). Oh, and did I mention this coffee farm is on the side of a volcano?! Yeah, pretty neat stuff!
We will also be assisting in some local construction for the great citizens of Ciudad Vieja. This means we’ll be getting down and dirty with cement, mortar and dirt while also constructing rebar and hauling brick all with our own two hands. How exciting! And I mean that genuinely!
We as a team have held a few meetings since November to discuss things such as the background of Guatemala, what trips experienced in the past, what we should expect and most importantly we’ve been reflecting on a multitude of things to think about before we leave. We’ve been reflecting on what we’re excited about, what we’re afraid of, what we think things will be like, what we hope to get out of this and what in our own lives can we compare/contrast/change from such an experience. These meetings have allowed us to get to know each other better as well as get pumped for our trip to Guatemala!
And now… introducing our wonderful team:
A junior here, Cassy is majoring in environmental studies with a minor in geography. She says she’s most excited about seeing the coffee process and experiencing new things. We’re glad to have her as our student trip leader!
A sophomore and second time ASB-er, Taylor is majoring in interactive web design. She is most looking forward to flying on her first international trip and helping out the coffee farmers in a developing country.
Daniel is also a sophomore here at UWO, majoring in international studies. He says he is most excited to experience a new culture and eat “nummy” foods. “Nummy” being a direct quote from this goofball.
In her fourth year as a student, Nikki is an interactive web management major with a journalism minor. She’s most excited about experiencing a different culture. Two Nikki’s on one team, it’s pretty magical.
Amber is a junior and majoring in nursing. She’s most excited to experience a different culture and helping out those in need! It’s always a good thing to have a nurse on your team!
Also a junior, Carter is a journalism major here on campus. He is looking forward to traveling outside of the country and experiencing a different culture. His height and love for travel is what will keep us all together!
Kari is a senior majoring in human services with a minor in art. She is most looking forward to traveling to a new place, helping out the coffee farmers, seeing the process and going on adventures! She’s our planner of entertainment so I’m also excited to see what other adventures she has in store for us!
Sophomore majoring in geography with an emphasis in geospatial technologies, Sophie is super excited to chill on a volcano for a week, see the process of coffee production and learn about Guatemalan culture. She also has a habit of giving people adorable pet names so be on the look out for that as well.
That’s me! I’m a (super) senior here at UWO and majoring in Music Industry. I’m most excited to travel back to Central America and do some hard work. I’m excited to experience the culture but really do what I can with my being and bare hands to make a difference there and in my head and heart. Experience all that I can. And then tell it all to you great people, of course!
Back in the day, Mike was a communication major and has a Masters of Education. He’s most looking forward to reconnecting with his Guatemalan friends, climbing volcanoes, getting dirty, building things and hanging out with his 9 new best friends! Aw, ain’t that sweet. We’re lucky to have him as our leader!
That’s all I got for now, but as our trip gets closer and closer, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me!