Guatemala seemed more familiar to me than most of the places I’ve been to in the United States. I felt more at home in the climate, on the dusty streets, and with the brown-skinned people. I grew up in the Philippines, which was once a colony of Spain, and I found that Guatemala was very similar to the Philippines. However, there was one thing that seemed different. I was white, which gave me almost celebrity status in the Philippines, but here in Guatemala I was disregarded as just another gringo.

The horrible actions and responses of the USA to Central and South America made the Latin world disgusted at the USA. They didn’t think of me as an interesting foreigner. Instead, I was the object of their disdain. I was completely unprepared for this, but at the same time it was refreshing. The USA may have some things that developing countries do not have, but most of the time those other countries also have something that the US doesn’t have, whether it be a unique culture, solidarity, or even just a stronger sense of respect. The US is cool, but by no means is it the best place on earth and sometimes everyone needs a little reminder of that.