There are two moments from my time in Guatemala that I will hold on to forever.
The first was when we met JP Fuentes, the head of Los Patojos. As he told us about his story and how he ran away from everything only to come back and start this school, I was struck by his passion and compassion for his hometown. As someone who grew up in many different areas, stuck between two cultures, this was something that fascinated me. He got out of one of the nastiest, most dangerous parts of Guatemala, only to rush back in head first to make a change. I saw the sheer determination in his eyes, the passion for his people and his town, and the hardiness that only comes from having to fight for your life. I want that. I need that.
The second moment was when I played pingpong with those at Los Patojos. Wally, Gary, Guillermo, and the others, without being able to communicate fully with us, invited Petra, Katie, and I to play pingpong with them. It was a little awkward, not being able to fully understand them, nor to be fully understood by them, but it was beautiful. All of us - coming from many different towns, different countries, different backgrounds - were able to share this moment of joy together, not needing language to bridge the gap.
These are the moments I will remember for the rest of my life.