Kentucky native living in Guatemala via Washington, DC. After growing up in God’s country (aka Kentucky), I picked up and made waves in Congress in DC. A few years and senate rotations later, I abandoned ‘normalcy’, and put myself (and my dog Dixie Mae) on a one-way flight to Guatemala. A year and a half later, I’m still going strong and have added a Guatemalan husband along for the ride.
I came to work with the at-risk youth population of Guatemala City. Along the way I found awesome culture, food, travel and adventures. Stay tuned for a post of why I started this blog.
This blog serves a dual purpose of sharing my nonprofit work along side everything I have learned as a result of traveling and living in foreign countries. My main focus has been, is, and will always be the work I do to empower the youth of Guatemala. If you’d like to contribute this work, you can donate by visiting cten.org/emilymyers.
HOW I GOT HERE
In early 2014, I joined a church in Washington, DC (shoutout to National Community Church!) who is very involved with international missions. I’ve always wanted to travel the world but never figured out how to do it with responsibilities at home. So I jumped on a missions team that happened to be going to Guatemala. It was a soccer related trip (bonus points for using my college sport) and was in a country that some of my friends/family called Guacamola – sounded exotic to me. Fast forward to July 2014, I hop on a plane with the group from my church and we land in Guatemala a few hours later. I was instantly intrigued… everything from the architecture to the scenery to the armed security guards was like nothing I had ever seen. And, by the time we finished the camp, I had fallen in love with the people and culture of this small country. In returning to normal life in DC, I felt a pulling on my heart to go back… but this time long-term. So I looked into the feasibility, coordinated with the non-profit I partnered with that summer, raised the money and headed out. A year and a half later, I’m still here.
WHAT I DO
I work with at-risk youth (with a focus on young girls) in, and around, Guatemala City in order to break the cycles of violence, poverty and gang control in the community. In partnership with mentors in their community, we are united in seeing a transformed and empowered generation of youth. I’ve also started a scholarship program for girls at risk of having to drop out of school. I maintain and cultivate relationships with girls struggling with their circumstances and I seek out resources to relieve the effects of abuse that many girls suffer under. Watch out for blog posts chronicling work and activities I do that is directly related to this work.
As a result of not being a Guatemalan resident, every 6 months I have to leave the country for a minimum of 72 hours in order to renew my visa. Enter traveling Central America.