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Memorable Moments of Guatemala – Despite without a cent

Tal vez, toda la pobreza necesita en este momento, es simplemente “El Permiso Por Un Sueño” para restaurar su dignidad.


Perhaps, what poverty needs right now, is simply “The Permission To Dream” to restore its dignity.

— from our first post in Guatemala

We shall start our Guatemala story right at the end, when we were slapped in our faces at our last stop, Guatemala City. The mother of the host at the hostel we were staying at greeted us with, “You’re not paying, right?”

We tried to stomach the blow, as torrents of emotions precipitated a Facebook entry:

We are not beggars

We are not beggars

We remember how we used to give, because the beggars had exchanged their dignities for that bit of pittance to survive. Yet, we did not set out on this journey without pride. In fact, we aim to complete it in dignity:

Even if it means wearing out our PJs until there's a hole

Even if it means wearing out our PJs until there's a hole

Even if it means learning how to accept a leftover hash brown from a stranger graciously

Even if it means learning how to accept a leftover hash brown from a stranger graciously

“We don’t want to be mediocre.
We want to INSPIRE.”

With the above intention, we took ourselves out of the “No Money” excuse and set out to begin and complete this journey, despite without a cent.

It has been nothing short of humbling from the very first SGD5 donation we received, to having bicycles, cameras, air tickets, clothes and even underwear gifted to us to the point we finally set off on the journey.

Night after night, we continue to be in awe of humanity, as strangers took us in; sometimes from the our sharing sessions, sometimes from the current house we’re living in, and sometimes even off the streets.

Yet from our very first night of arrival in Guatemala, when we met “Lemar”, we’ve been tested once and again: What is the meaning of all of this, all this travelling to collect, share and inspire dreams? What is inspiration? What can inspiration possibly do to a family who can hardly put 3 meals on the table?

In fact, what do we answer in return to an email like this?

What do we say to the boy who scolded us “Shit You!” when we did not buy friendship bands from him?

“Keep going. Keep sharing.”
A voice whispered
And another
And another
And another…

They were the voices of Eddy, the man who gave us our bicycles; of our parents, who bore the pain of our departures; of Helen, the teacher who brought us to our very first sharing session; of Luo Papa, the old Taiwanese man who inspired this journey.

They were the voices of Daniel, Ponxo, Fofo, the cyclists who’ve helped us get on the roads of Mexico and through Mexico to finally arrive in Guatemala.

They were the voices of the countless Aunties (Tias) and Uncles (Tios) who took us under their wings and nourished us.

And so begun the travellings (both inwards in our souls and across the country) and sharings in Guatemala.

Some of the memorable moments we’d like to share:

IslaVerde – the island where we “came ashore”

IslaVerde – the island where we “came ashore”

Sharing with local students at Santiago

Sharing with local students at Santiago

Momostenango – In Search of Blessings

Momostenango – In Search of Blessings

Cross the line – Get “Out Of Bounds”

Cross the line – Get “Out Of Bounds”

Niños del Lago – When we pause and give attention

Niños del Lago – When we pause and give attention

A heartfelt entry - From Val... To Val

A heartfelt entry - From Val... To Val

We’d also like to share some updates from the dreams we’ve had the privilege to collect. Click the thumbnails below to read about their progresses with their dreams:

Hopefully, their stories bring you an inspiration or two to take your own tiny steps towards your dreams:

Laurence

Laurence

Sarah

Sarah

Paola

Paola

All of these beautiful experiences and stories, despite without a cent.
Nothing to our names, and everything in the world we could possibly need.
Penniless, yet so very rich.
In fact, there’s always enough… and more
To SHARE:

Lisa's Birthday Dinner

Lisa's Birthday Dinner

Helga and The Kids

Helga and The Kids

Uncle Robert

Uncle Robert

Aunty Arlaine
Aunty Arlaine

Family in Antigua

Family in Antigua

Dear Guatemala,

You have gifted us so much
Because under the layers of disguise of hard heartedness and cold currencies
Lies an important and timely lesson
Of Resilience
and Humility

We are now stronger
Because we truly know what we stand for
We are now humble
Because we truly understand dignity

In Gratitude
We leave with you
And our friends and families there

A gift that origins from our traditions
A symbol of fortune
A sign of abundance
Thank you, Guatemala

Goodbye Guatemala!

Goodbye Guatemala!

Help us share one more story –
Your spare change, even if it’s just $1, will go a long way