By Makensie Brown– Communications Coordinator
This is certainly not the first time that I’ve proclaimed I love my job, but as I’m preparing to leave Guatemala for my next adventure I can’t help but reflect on the time I have spent with Habitat: I am certain that I made the right choice to come to Guatemala and work for Habitat.
This past year I have worked as the Profiles Manager and Communications Coordinator for Habitat Guatemala. I was in charge of visiting the families that our volunteers work with during their Global Village trips once they are in their new homes. I ask the family about their new home and how the house is impacting their lives. I then send a profile to the volunteers that includes their story and photos of the completed home. Another main task of mine while at Habitat Guatemala was to manage the social media and other publications that we send out.
With every task that I completed over this past year I intended to support a bigger cause: the effort to provide every Guatemalan with a dignified home. Although I hope to have had even the tiniest of impact, I am certain that this experience impacted me in a greater manner. I am so thankful for this opportunity I was given and its reassurance that I want to continue using my personal passions to support others. Below are only ten of the reasons that I have grown to love my job with Habitat over the last year:
They have welcomed me as family over this past year and for that I couldn’t be more grateful. They have helped me comprehend more of the situation in Guatemala and how we can address it. They have been by my side when I’ve learned to dance salsa and play soccer. They all stop to warmly greet me no matter how busy they are. I genuinely enjoy their company and I have grown to appreciate the friendships I have developed.
2) Our families
Our families are truly some of the kindest souls I have ever had the pleasure of holding a conversation with. Not only do they welcome us into their homes, but they are genuinely grateful for the assistance we give them. I’ve been given gifts, been asked to be in photos, but more importantly had received some of the best hugs ever from these warm people.
3) I got to know some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen
Typically on my way to visit families I am able to see volcanoes, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, and rolling green hills. I’ve visited one of our community gardens in Canaque – it is one of the most difficult places to travel to, yet one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Little by little I have become familiar with all of the beauty that Guatemala has to offer.
4) I was able to do what I love
From designing calendars to photographing “handing over the keys ceremonies,” I have been able to indulge both of my artistic passions. Designing and photographing are two of my most favorite things in the world and I was able to do them every day –in a manner that supported others – how lucky am I?
5) I was constantly learning
From new Spanish words to history about Guatemala, I have learned so many valuable lessons on a daily basis. To me this is crucial to my growth because up until now I have been in school, and therefore a learning atmosphere, my whole life. I have never desired to be standstill, and because of the lessons I learned with Habitat I was able to continue working on becoming a better and a more aware individual.
6) I had a purpose
Before arriving to Guatemala my whole life was essentially about me. I went to school to get a degree, to get a good job, to take care of myself. I traveled for myself and focused on my goals. Now I feel as though my purpose over this last year was geared towards helping others. I was a part of a team that was able to make a difference in the lives of others – and for this reason I felt and feel valuable.
7) I didn’t have stress in my life
Although there will always be the occasional situation to make one worried, I can honestly say that my job wasn’t one that made me anxious. I find that my position is a perfect combination between being encouraged to work hard all while feeling motivated and comfortable.
8) I was constantly challenged
Some days I wasn’t able to understand a Spanish conversation or I was tested culturally – and I found this exhilarating. Every day was something new and it encouraged me to step outside of my box and learn from each situation that I was put in.
9) I had creative freedom
Habitat is a very well established organization, but there was still freedom with the position that I had. I feel as though I was able to contribute to the growth of our team. I made suggestions and attemped new things in order to benefit the overall outcome of the work that we did.
10) I’m happy
As this chapter is coming to an end, I can say that I am so content with where I am at in my life – the happiest I believe I have ever been. This is much due in part to the fact that I enjoyed my daily tasks and the work that I was able to do. For this I’m thankful that I found such a wonderful opportunity.
So as I sit content with how the past year has gone I can’t help but to feel as though I have been a part of something wonderful. Although I am closing this chapter with Habitat Guatemala, I know that it is only the beginning of my involment with Habitat. I desire to continue supporting such a wonderful organization with such drive and impact.
So thank you to all who have been apart of my Habitat journey in one way or another – I hope that Habitat has blessed your life as much as it has blessed mine.