Wild and Reckless Love

My time in Guatemala thus far has been short yet filled with practical clinical skills, joy, laughter, a new cultural experience, and love. As my time in Guatemala has progressed through the week I have realized one fundamental truth about this community

in Cobán. The truth is that love runs rampant in this community. The love that the kids give to each other is wild and reckless. The love that the kids and adults give to us, the medical team, without reservation is unbelievable. The love that the community has for the wellbeing of those who live within it is tremendous. I could continue to describe with my own words and a plethora of adjectives the love that I experience here in Cobán, but I think a mental image would do it so much more justice. 

Imagine walking through an outdoor corridor filled with all the colors of the rainbow, plants of all kinds, art created with hope, and kids swarming around you. As the kids swarm, you see one girl that you treated in the clinic yesterday and her five friends that came to make sure she was okay. They all come up to you, hug you, ask “¿como estas?” and they do not let go of you. You ensure them that you will see them later because you have to get back to the clinic and that is the only way you can get them to go back to class. Later when school is out, those same girls come to the clinic just to say “hola.” This time they have a few more friends and they just want to talk to you and hug you. You talk with them using the few words and phrases you know in Spanish, color, braid hair, and blow bubbles. This is what I have the privilege of experiencing during my time in Cobán at La Ciudad de Esperanza, translated “The City of Hope.” The City of Hope is where the kids in Cobán, Guatemala are able to attend school and receive several services to open doors of opportunity for their success. 

This genuine interest in and joy to see one another that I have experienced with these little girls is love, to put it plainly. Love is what I experience here. There is a genuineness to the people in Guatemala like I have never experienced before. Even though I speak minimal Spanish and can barely get past the standard greetings, there is acceptance of me and my difference from them. Love needs no language because it is universal. Love knows no boundaries because it is ever growing. This is the kind of love that is cultivated with joy and hope here in Guatemala. 

I am here as a student, partially to provide medical care and to learn about the medical field, but that is only part of my journey here. The other part of this trip, and life in general, is to experience that love that has no barriers, that universal human love that can be experienced across any person, in any place, and within any setting. 

These little girls give of their joy and love so freely. They have so much to give and are rich in love. They have touched my heart with a love that I will take with me wherever I go in my life. They have reminded me that to be joyous as they are joyous and to love life as they love life, I need to give love to others as wildly and recklessly as they do. The hugs I have received this week will carry me through my life with a new kind of love cultivated in this rich Guatemalan community. 

My gratitude for this community and this medical team is more than I can deghscribe in words, but I hope this glimpse will show you a little bit about how my heart has been filled with gratitude, joy, and most yof all love on this trip.
Zoey Jumper


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