For over 10 years JustWorld International has been taking trips to visit their project partner in Guatemala, Los Patojos, and with every trip the students of Los Patojos are not the only ones whose lives are changed. Ambassadors, Members, friends and families are all invited to embark on a journey that has been said to bring about a new perspective, inspiration and a lasting appreciation that cannot be experienced anywhere else. Read more about Ambassador Olivia Chowdry’s experience and some testimonials of her fellow Ambassadors who all traveled to Los Patojos this November.
I have been supporting JustWorld International for almost six years. With school and other time constraints, this is the first year I took the time to visit Los Patojos, our project in Guatemala. The trip consisted of several pieces including visiting the original site for historical context and walking a route to the new “safe space” that we call Los Patojos. The structure of Los Patojos’ program incorporates three key components: education, nutrition and health and cultural development. Along with the other Ambassadors, I was able to interact with the kids, touching the reality of each need that is met for a student at Los Patojos. The trip gave me a tangible feeling that what I have been raising awareness and giving to is the difference between a sustainable life of opportunity or a dangerous reality of fear and dysfunction. This trip was my “ah-ha” light-bulb moment. Before visiting the project, I knew in my head the importance of giving back, but now I feel in my heart the significance of changing a life forever.
When I returned from the trip, I had the unique opportunity to serve as a moderator of the Nexus Latin America and Caribbean forum. I got the opportunity to introduce JustWorld Founder Jessica Newman and personally share my experience as an Ambassador and at Los Patojos. Alongside the panelists, in a room full of many accomplished entrepreneurs and social change makers, Jessica and I were able to share our insight about the crucial correlation of supporting education through philanthropy. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to share my life-changing experience with others and I hope that what I learned at Los Patojos will continue to spark even more change.
Olivia wasn’t the only one on the last trip to Los Patojos who was inspired. Other Ambassadors shared:
The trip was amazing getting to meet all the kids at Los Patojos; they all welcomed us with open arms. No matter where or what they came from they were just grateful. It was truly a great experience getting to see the impact JustWorld International has made by helping these kids. It is unforgettable.
Traveling to Los Patojos was a truly humbling trip. Meeting each and every child was incredibly touching and I could never forget the smiles on their faces when they first saw us. Seeing the work of Juan Pablo and JustWorld was an extremely eye- opening experience that I will carry with me forever.
It is difficult to visit Los Patojos in Guatemala and not feel grateful and motivated to do this kind of work all around the world. Through JustWorld and Los Patojos these kids are able to receive hope, joy, and music they wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise.