The Gift of this Quarantine

From the heart of rural Guatemala

I have always felt the desire to make a better world – to somehow be a participant of making people feel good and happy about themselves, and to also participate in making the Earth a more beautiful place by taking actions that heal her and show respect for her.

I have always shared that the beginning of this journey for me was in rural villages of Guatemala.  At the beginning, in my heart, it was all about trying to take pain away from mothers that were losing their children to war and poverty.

But as I look back into this journey, as I have had a chance to look inside myself (through these 6 months of quarantine), I am realizing I had it all backwards.

It’s these communities that saved me… it’s these communities and their strong people that showed me a way… it’s these communities and their beautiful people that made me happier – that were key in my healing process, that showed me the power of dreams, the power of hope, and the power of hard work. After all, in rural communities of Guate, its easier to see all of this, because it’s back to basics there, something we are all trying to go back to these days.

To share with you how I see it now…

Imagine going into any community, and saying you have a dream, and inviting people to join you, without anything to prove that it will come true. Imagine that people in the community join you, and work hard, and tell you not to give up when things get tough, and pray for you, and say thank you over and over again.

Imagine that what started with 2 women, grows to 300 women, all saying they believe in you. It’s 300 women whose dreams also become a reality. It’s 300 women whose children are healthier and going to school.  It’s 300 women changing their own villages.  All in front of your eyes.

After 16 years of working with them, it’s 300 women that gave me a gift… the gift of believing in me, the gift of trusting me, the gift of walking with me… in a journey that has led me to see myself, a journey that has become a mirror of my spirit and my soul, a journey that has given me hope…

A journey that has given life to Wakami – a space where I see myself now, a space that is held by a team of strong people, a space that reflects the strength and beauty of rural women and rural communities… a space that invites us to see ourselves in the light of people’s dreams and hopes.

This quarantine gave me a precious gift – one given to me from the heart of rural Guatemala.

This gift is there… for anyone needing a place to see themselves under a different light… you are invited.  The women – our fellow citizens of the world – will welcome you in.

Maria Pacheco