I wake up Monday morning at 4:30am to what seemed like a Monsoon coming through my bedroom. Turns out it was just an abnormal amount of rain falling extremely hard on the metal roof that covers my bedroom. After breakfast I meet up with the 15 other students staying in Santa Lucía and we take a bus to school. We’re let off on the opposite side of a large river that used to be a road, and we remove our socks and shoes to brave the 5 inches of water between us and our lessons for the day. It rained the entire day Monday, so much that nearly all schools surrounding Antigua called off school for Monday and Tuesday. While some of us were used to heavy rains in the US, I think it’s safe to say none of us had experienced anything quite like what we experienced Monday

Tuesday afternoon we had the opportunity to split up in our teams and discover exactly what projects we would be doing for the next 7 weeks. My team, Team Impacto, was extremely excited to hear about our project and I really think we’re going to do a great job with it. Our project involves improving Soluciones Comunitarias monitoring and evaluating procedures in order to motivate the ACs and promote positive changes in behavior. In order to do this, we are going to:

1. Design a competition to incentivize our entrepreneurs

2. Plan, design and implement Net Economic Impact (NEI) data collection tools

and 3. Analyze the data in order to motivate and incentivize SolCom stakeholders. We hope to unlock the power behind stories and statistics in order to better understand and communicate the incredible social impact SolCom has in Guatemala.

Sitting Atop Pacaya

I think it’s safe to say some of us are beginning to feel a bit more comfortable in our new homes. After the initial culture shock wore off, we’re finally getting used to the lifestyle and culture of Guatemala and now know what to expect in many situations. Personally, I’m getting used to 15+ people being in the kitchen while I’m eating dinner. I have come to expect 5 homemade corn tortillas from my host mother every day for lunch even though I’ve never eaten more than 2. I know us American students can hold our own on the basketball court, but when it comes to fútbol, we don’t stand a chance. While getting used Santa Lucía has been great, I think I speak for most of us students when I say we are extremely excited to leave for our first field site and start the projects we came down here to complete. This past week brought us an absurd amount of rain, a nice introduction to our team projects, and a much needed dose of comfort. Stay tuned to see what next week will bring us.