If you’re Guatemala-bound this year, you will most likely meet Heather, our Team Coordinator. Read the Q and A below to learn about how she got involved with Common Hope, her hopes for the future and more!

Position: Team Coordinator
Time with CH: 3 months
Favorite Spanish phrase (and it’s meaning in English): “Buena onda” (That’s great!)
Favorite Guatemalan food: Pepian and all of the fresh fruit

1. How did you come to volunteer at Common Hope?
I came to volunteer at Common Hope for a variety of reasons. About three years ago, I spent 5 weeks in Guatemala. After that experience, anyone could tell you that I was dying to come back for a longer stay. When I came across Common Hope, I was instantly drawn to the mission and work that is done here. Having spent the prior summer leading volunteer trips in Costa Rica, I knew that the opportunity to lead teams with Common Hope would be a great fit!

2. What was your first impression of Common Hope?
My first impression of Common Hope was surprise over the size of the organization and the amount of work we do around Antigua and beyond. I had not realized prior to coming down how big of an organization Common Hope really was. When I first arrived on site, I took a little tour and saw pictures of all the staff members here. Since that first day, I have worked hard to put all the names to the faces and get to know how all the pieces work together for the common goal.

3. What was your first impression of Guatemala?
My first impression of Guatemala was how beautiful it is. There are so many vibrant colors around every corner. I continue to be amazed by my surroundings when I go to work each morning, shop in the market, or take walks around town.

4. What have you enjoyed most about working for Common Hope?
The people I get to know on a daily basis.  I am lucky to get to interact with a wide variety of the staff here as well as visitors and affiliated kids and their families.  Everyone I have gotten to know has been so kind and welcoming. When I walk around Antigua I am continually greeted by people I have met through my work with Common Hope.

5. What are your hopes for 2015?
My hopes for 2015 are to keep learning new things about Guatemala and the work we do here at Common Hope. I love getting to know new teams because they challenge me to keep learning more and more. It has been an amazing experience so far and I am excited to see where 2015 takes me!