Week 1 in Guatemala

My first week of volunteering with MIA, Mujeres Iniciando en las Américas, has been unforgettable!

I left Huehuetenango on Wednesday morning to arrive here in the city around 10 AM, and Lucia and I immediately started getting to work. She showed me around Zona 1 and explained the activities that we would be doing together over the course of the next couple of days. On Thursday, I went to San Carlos University to meet with the professors, doctors, and licensed workers who have created links with MIA to allow us to give courses inside the university about what men and women can do to redefine gender roles and to combat the high levels of feminicide and gender violence here in Guatemala.

During the long Military Day weekend, I met with a few of MIA’s “ambassadors” and was able to interview some of the people that give MIA the opportunity to fortify its programs through their active support. I found out that while MIA only relies on the backing of only a few altruistic, generous donors and unpaid, skilled volunteers, its programs touch the lives of many young men and women who hope to change the course of Guatemala’s violent history.

Today, Monday the 4th of July, I met Yohanna del Aguila, and we went to visit the central office of the Mirna Mack Foundation to establish a relationship between said foundation, the reformers of the Police Academy, and MIA. In addition, we ventured over to USAC again to follow up with the work that I did last Thursday. Both trips were great successes.

This week, we will be beginning the next semester of courses under the “Men against feminicide” campaign at the university, and I will take my first trip over to INCA—an all-girls school—and Pedro Pablo Valdez—an all-boys school in Zona 8. Since I will be co-facilitating these workshops and courses, we have also spent many hours preparing and organizing the lesson plans.

Overall, I have learned that MIA, Mujeres Iniciando en las Américas, is an outstanding non-governmental organization that works tirelessly to accomplish its goals. I am glad and honored to be a volunteer and member of the organization, and I sincerely hope that the organization benefits from my time here in Guatemala. Despite the fact that I have only been here in Guatemala City for 5 days, I already know that the full-experience will remain a part of who I am forever.

I look forward to writing about the upcoming week because we will be engaging in a plethora of exciting workshops and training sessions. Thanks for reading and look out for further posts!

David JW Inczauskis

Volunteer MIA



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