Since last August, three members of our Guatemalan staff have been working out of our Seattle office. We thought you might like to meet them and hear a bit about what they’ve been doing during their time in the Emerald City and what they do back at the Guatemalan office.
This is Billy Lopez’s second time working up here, and he says he’s going back to Guatemala next week with a lot of new ideas for the office management and for the programs. As the Country Program Director, Billy is involved with all aspects of GV in his country, from developing curriculum to creating budgets and overseeing things when our student participants arrive for their trips. “What I like most about the time I’ve spent working in the Seattle office is that I’ve gotten to really know the first-year participants. When they come down to Guatemala I’ll be better able to understand who they are and what they need to make the most of their experience.”
This is the first time in Seattle for brothers Cesar (CheCha) and Ronald Vegas Gonzales. CheCha is the Program Coordinator and Ronald is a Program Assistant with GV Guatemala. In Guatemala, CheCha works on developing curriculum, logistics for the trips and works with the Guatemalan teen participants. Ronald is involved particularly with the donation program and coordinating with the organizations where the students volunteer.
They have been incredibly busy during their time in Seattle. Both were involved with the participants’ recruitment process. They made presentations at twenty-eight high schools, met with parents to answer questions and helped during the first few Culture Nights. The brothers think it was helpful for the students and their parents to hear from staff working in Guatemala. Explains CheCha, “We could really explain to them about the Guatemalan culture and what they would be doing during their time in our country.”
All three visiting Guatemalans think their time in Seattle has been helpful for them and for the Seattle staff. “We’ve all learned how to communicate better and we have a better understanding of what everyone does. “
Soon all three staff will be heading back to Guatemala. They’ll be leaving with good memories of Seattle, improved English skills (which they are excited about) and ready to greet all the familiar faces of the Seattle youth when they arrive on their trips in the spring and summer.