This NYT lens piece resonated with me. During our trip to Guatemala last year we frequently heard the words “Mi esposo se fue” or “My husband went.” When you see the poverty, the extreme living conditions, you understand. The reason we went to Guatemala was to empower people and improve conditions there so that the need to immigrate would be less. We wanted to share the goodness, the strength and the hope that America can offer in a place that could use some support. We wanted to strengthen and support the already beautiful Guatemalan culture and people so that both could flourish more fully and bless all of us with their strength. We chose Guatemala because my husband Ritchie has a background there from his two year church mission and we love the people and culture. We didn’t do it from a place of superiority but from a place of gratitude. We thought “We are presently recipients of freedom, beauty, and opportunity and if any of it could be useful to you we will happily share it.” If we all did this, even in just small ways, the world would be such a different place.
1) Identify a country where you could make a difference. It could be a place you dream of visiting, a place you have experience with or a place you’re curious about. We chose one that was easy to get to from our home here in Texas. Ultimately it’s the land and the people you are connecting with.
2) Do a google search for a person or organization doing empowering work in that place and join their Facebook page or email list. It could be a local from the country you’re interested in or a globally-minded person in your country. Once you begin to understand what they do, brainstorm skills you have that could be useful to the organization. Offer those skills and a bit of your time and let me know what happens.