Birthday in Guatemala

Published on 17 November 2006 by

Category: New Blog Posts, Updates

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From Ted

I just returned from a trip to Guatemala where I had the opportunity to work with 30 wonderful Central American participants in a workshop that we sponsored there. We travel there several times a year and I always learn so much.

My connection to Guatemala began over a decade ago. As I was giving a presentation, a man raised his hand and asked if I would be willing to travel to Guatemala to conduct a program similar to the one he was attending in the United States. I said sure, knowing from experience that 99% of the time those types of requests never really materialize.

Little did I know that that request would result in a decades worth of regular yearly visits to this wonderful country. Over the years, hundreds of Guatemalans and other Central American participants have taken part in the “Learning to Love Yourself” workshops we have offered. We have trained a number of Guatemalans who this time, for the first time, brilliantly led the small groups that are the most important aspect of the workshop experience. It was a gratifying experience to watch these native people work so well with their own people. This trip completed a vision that I had the first time I worked in Guatemala, that the native Guatemalan’s would someday produce and run their own program, without people like me having to be a part of it.

When we travel to Guatemala, we are always treated incredibly well. It just so happened that the last day of this program was also my birthday. Somehow my hosts had found out, and as I was about to close the workshop, the doors burst open and in came a Mariachi Band. Suddenly everyone was on their feet and dancing, pulling me to the middle of the floor where we twirled, spun, line-danced, snake danced, and limbo-ed Latin American style. Forty minutes of joyous sweat and laughter later, the music ended. I’ve had a number of birthday celebrations in my live and this one was one I will never forget.

I keep learning that no matter where we come from or the conditions in which we live, we are all loving creatures. If given half a chance, we can and do share, willingly and openly, our love with others.

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