Everyday now, I challenge my own lifestyle, the systems, products, and technologies I use, and the world I live in, exploring the endless solutions that are out there for the taking.
The Guateca Summer School provided me with one of a kind hands on experience. As a third year mechanical engineer, I was able to finally apply my knowledge into something real. Working through language and cultural hoops with the Guatemalan students was a blast, and lifelong friendships were certainly built in the process.
Guateca also helped me to develop a new way to analyze situations, people, and problems.
Guateca was truly an experience I will never forget. The practical knowledge I gained throughout the entire summer is priceless. As a Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Engineer, being able to see the world from different angles is an important skill. Through the summer I learned to look at the world from a multitude of different vantage points, whether it be as a scientist, builder, foreign student, friend, and host-daughter.
In addition, working in groups, with students from The United States and Guatemala helped to educate me on group membership, responsibilities, delegation, and team building. By learning about energy and all the ways in which, as humans, interact with and use energy, I have a new appreciation and caution when dealing with energy
After my Guateca experience, I can see the world in a different light. Each and every day I continue to see the different ways that I change myself, modify my actions, and interact with people.
En mi tiempo de experiencia en Guateca me ha gustado interactuar, conocer y dar a conocer que podemos innovar con tecnologías apropiadas a nuestra comunidad a través de varias ideas de los integrantes.
Más que un proyecto Guateca significa para mí, convivir, compartir, todo tipo de conocimientos y realidades de cada integrante.Durante y después del proyecto he adquirido y aprovechado oportunidades, preparándome para nuevos retos y buscando nuevas oportunidades para todos
En mi tiempo de experiencia en Guateca he aprendido que el objetivo del proyecto es generar proyectos sostenibles y sustentables enfatizados en la conservación del medio ambiente.
Guateca significa Para mi, una escuela de intercambio de ideas y culturas para construir proyectos.
Durante y después de Guateca he aprendido a utilizar menos automóvil, No tirar basura, Aconsejar a mis amigos sobre lo aprendido por el medio ambiente y Producir menos Co2
For me, Guateca was an incredible cultural experience. It was a rare opportunity to truly live the way another culture lives -- live in their homes, eat their food, speak their language, share their work and their pastimes. Getting to take classes and work on projects alongside Guatemalan students was also a huge catalyst for interaction and cultural exchange. And the relationship that Guateca had with this other culture -- one of mutual desire to learn from one another, and not by any means one of give-and-take -- allowed me to view it with an open mind, and benefit that much more from the whole experience.
The UNIV courses opened my eyes to the beauty of appropriate technologies, the design process, and dissemination models…. as an International Business Management student this area of study was more or less foreign to me, but the more I learned the more I was sure I wanted to study and work in a related field. After 2 years as a student and now working as the Program Coordinator for Guateca, I’ve traveled to San Pablo twice, become conversational in Spanish, worked in various teams designing technologies and enterprises, and developed close friendships with San Pablences and like-minded peers at Cal Poly. Guateca has been a life changing experience for me; I suspect the perspective I’ve gained and skills I’ve learned through Guateca will continue to inspire and enrich the rest of my personal and professional life.
The students are amazing and inspiring. I am doing my best to teach energy in Spanish to students who didn't until yesterday understand exponents. At one point during lecture, Brian stood up in front of me and stated squarely that half my students didn't understand the lecture - and that likely all the San Pablo students didn't. Feeling conflict, I responded that I was going to finish the lecture nonetheless. Afterwards, Brian expressed concern that half the students didn't understand the material and wanted to know what I was going to do about it. I told him that half the students DID understand the material and he had 3 hours in front of him while I was in Tacana opening up a bank account. I returned in the evening to find a chaotic swarm of learning. On one side of the room, Brian was at the whiteboard with a cocoon of Guatemalan students around him gesticulating passionately. Afterwards, he excitedly reported all the energy and physics material he'd covered with them. The other students, especially Wendy expressed excitement with their accomplishment. I shook Brian’s hand and told him that my incompetence had made him a God. Today, I just couldn't explain the full graph of earth energy flows. When I’m fatigued, my Spanish is the first to go. It was slow and tedious, and I felt empathy for the students’ struggle. I gave up and finished in English. Cami speaks lovely Spanish, and she happily picked up after class with the San Pablo students, and am grateful for her help.
So, I look around in amazement at what we’ve created by leaving a space, allowing the ambient flow in. As with parenting, I am haunted by the glaring incompetence of my every action. Then I see the result and recognize glorious success. I feel daunting responsibility, but then am aware that I am not responsible for the outcome. I am only here. And I am grateful to be here.