Some of the things we’re thankful for

by Lisa Hetzel, Human Resources Director

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. last week, I thought I’d carry on my family’s tradition of going around the table and asking each person, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?”

Below, I report the answers from some of Common Hope’s long-term volunteers, who reflected on their experiences in Guatemala.

ViolaViola Pumpure
Hospitality Director
From Riga, Latvia
“I’m grateful for an opportunity where I can see what’s on the other side of the wall, learning what life is like in Guatemala.”

AbigailAbigail Headrick
Hospitality Team Coordinator
From Half Moon Bay, California, USA
“This week I’m thankful for the staff’s support of my work; they motivate me if I have a bad day and make me want to commit to more time as a volunteer.”

JessicaJessica Witt
Speech Therapist
From New York Mills, Minnesota, USA
“Recently I’ve had a lot of people coming in to evaluate hearing loss. I’m thankful we have staff that refers students and parents to us, that we have the equipment to test for hearing loss, and that we have access to hearing aids and services to help people better communicate with their families.”

AlanAlan Iverson
Pre-school and Legal Program Support
From Moorhead, Minnesota, USA
“I get to be working for an organization that is doing important work. I am in a new place, doing something new that will be a good experience for whatever’s next in life.”

Lisa-MarieLisa-Marie Bruce
Housing Construction, English Teacher, Tour Guide, Education Consultant…
From Derwood, Maryland, USA
“I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to change my perspective and recognize what I’d always taken for granted, like health care, housing and education. I’ve realized that the basic things I grew up with are luxuries.”

LynnLynn Miller
Library Support and Vision Program Coordinator
From Toronto, Canada
“I get to be with kids all day – I’m not responsible for them but get to enjoy them!”

KristaKrista Lengacher
Hospitality Team Coordinator
From Denver, Colorado, USA
“I’m grateful that the vision teams and tourists who I work with have such a good attitude to be giving up their vacation time and spending it by helping out wherever it’s needed.”

JavodJavod Sheikhizadeh
Primary Care Clinic
From Olympia, Washington, USA
“I’m thankful for how welcoming people have been here, despite being behind the curve with language and medical abilities; they always help me up when I trip. This eternal spring thing is pretty nice too!”

LouiseLouise McLarnan
Pre-school and PODER Employment Program Support
From Moorhead, Minnesota, USA
“After two months in the pre-school, my immune system can now handle all the cold bugs that are going around! I’m also very thankful that I’ll be here for another year.”

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