Antigua, Guatemala and my return for Cooperative for Education
My newfound love for Guatemala has stayed with me since my recent visit. Sharing the different stories from that visit over the next few weeks is something I am excited about.
One of the most-visited areas that I ventured into was Antigua, Guatemala. Formerly the capital city, it has a lot of the beauty and romanticism one would expect from the highlands of Guatemala. The colorful architecture and cobblestone streets are stuck in colonial times, designating it a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Within the first hour upon arriving to Antigua, I got to experience a brief earth tremble and bursting sound from the nearby Volcán de Fuego (Fire Volcano), which no one saw as a big deal and which, I was told, happens daily.
Smoking volcano? No biggie.
This was followed by a massive thunderstorm that fell hard and thick, then was gone. All while I dined on a delicious meal at the luxurious Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, a former monastery, with history tracing as far back as 1538, that now functions both as a 128-room hotel and museum.
Lobby at Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
My posh digs at Mansion de La Luz
For this reason, I am over-the-moon excited to be returning to Antigua, this time to photograph and share the stories of the volunteers and team of the Cooperative for Education, its families and students.
The Cooperative for Education is a non-profit organization established in 1996 that provides educational resources and opportunities to indigenous Mayan schoolchildren in Guatemala’s Central and Western Highlands in an effort to break the cycle of poverty.
After spending time in Guatemala, cooking and eating in the homes of Mayan families and getting to know so many of them and their stories, I couldn’t feel any prouder of being given the opportunity to come back and share the ways in which members of the Guate community, as well as volunteers from near and far, are coming together to help in one of the best ways possible – through education.
Antigua is a gorgeous city, incredibly popular with tourists.
In addition to a strong sense of conservation and preservation, Antigua has found wonderful ways to give back to the community. Pictured above is Antigua’s free social services center and clinic, Hospital Hermano Pedro. Operated by Franciscan friars, the hospital dedicates itself to offer top-of-the-line care and services to the elderly, poor, needy, and handicapped residents of Antigua.
It makes sense then to want to capitalize on those resources in ways that give back to those in the community that need it the most. I’m looking forward to learning more about the cooperative.
I plan on being there later in July, but wanted to give you the information on the program should you, or someone you know, be interested in donating, volunteering, or checking out the other ways in which you can become involved. For more information, visit their site at CoEduc.org.