Life in Guatemala // an overview

So you want to know what it was like to live in Guatemala for ten weeks?

Good! Read on. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not sure whether this post is better described as an overview or a preview. Since life in Guatemala was so crazy, blogging was sadly not on my highest priority list, so I am quite behind on letting you all know what has been happening! I returned home on April 16, about nine days ago, and am finally getting a chance to post some photos here! Hopefully more posts will follow shortly, but I want to give y’all an idea of the many crazy, fun, and traditional things we did before I go into detail about any of them.

Let’s start with normal life….at least, as normal as it ever gets in Guate. ๐Ÿ™‚

I help teach third grade, which has all of six students. Since it’s a bilingual school, they know a little bit of English, but it’s still a challenge to communicate sometimes…especially with the Guatemalan teacher, who knows almost no English. So I am very motivated to learn as much Spanish as possible!! I help with all the classes they have before their noon break, and during that time I also teach them reading and spelling.


Agh, I love these kiddos. They’re so full of fun and personality!!


Mikah and I do most of our cooking ourselves, except for a few times when we went out to a restaurant and bought Guatemalan food. Some of our endeavors flop, but most are successful! Sausage Cheese Biscuit Casserole, anyone?


I often stay at school during lunch break and play tag or cops and robbers with the littles, which helps me get my “kid time” in while I’m thousands of miles away from my siblings. Once, as Iย carryย my camera around snapping photos as the children excitedly chase each other around, a little first-grader, Elizabeth, stops me.

“Puedo tomar una foto con usted?”ย (Can I take a picture with you?) She asks. Why not?? This picture is now one of my all-time favorites from my entire stay!


One Saturday, we hike down La Barranca, which translates as “The Ravine,” with the sixth grade students and teachers from the bilingual school at which we teach. It is beautiful, and we enjoy being able to be out in nature again!


Needless to say, this group is a hoot. ๐Ÿ˜€



And the food……..AMAZING. Goodness, I could eat that every day and not get tired of it!

Mikah and I go on an adventurous bus journey to visit our good friend Corrie, who is doing missionary work in another part of Guatemala. It is a refreshing and encouraging weekend away, even if bus trips in Guatemala are a little hectic.


We have a whole week-long break from school during Holy Week (Semana Santa, as they call it)! It turns out that Corrie’s plans changed and she is able to come visit us a couple days before Holy Week begins, so we surprise the teachers with the presence of aย third gringa at their small-town school. ๐Ÿ™‚ All three of us go to Antigua, Guatemala, with the Schaper family for half the week while they complete three days of language school.

Antigua Cross Selfie

Corrie has to fly home on Tuesday, so we decide to go hike a volcano on Monday to make sure we get our tourist experience in. Aaannd, we just feel like hiking an active volcano, ya know, just for fun. Right?


While in Antigua, we observe several Catholic parades and the huge crowds they draw…yes, that float you see isย carried by probably a hundred people.


Mikah and I enjoy taking my senior photos after Corrie leaves, and are beyond grateful for the beauty of the apartment complex and yard! Besides, not many people get their photos taken by an amazing friend while in a foreign country…I am blessed!

IMG_7738 - Copy-1-2

Coffee….is one of the best thingsย in the world. ๐Ÿ™‚


Back at school again after Easter comes and goes, we have three merit parties for the students at the school with the most merits!

One for kindergarten through third grade…


One for fourth and fifth grades…this is a water party! Kids here LOVE getting wet. ๐Ÿ™‚


And one for sixth through tenth grades!


Mikah and I are asked to sing and play for church twice, and for a wedding once. This is both fun and nerve-wracking…but it goes pretty well overall. ๐Ÿ™‚


The week before I fly home, all the teachers throw a surprise farewell party for me! It is a blast and almost completely a surprise! We play several fun games, including human foosball, before eating a very delicious, very Guatemalan meal. Mmmmm….


Even though Guatemala was in its dry season while I was there, many beautiful flowers still bloomed!


And this is just a portion of the adventures we had….did I mention anything about trying to catch some kind of banana-stealing critter that lived in our kitchen? Or going with the church youth group at 4:30 AM on a school dayย to wake up a birthday girl with loud singing and firecrackers? What about almost getting locked in the dog pen for the night? Or about entertaining unexpected company on afternoons that we were already worn out? Yes, there’s much more to tell than can be written in a single post.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed your taste of Guatemala as much as I enjoyed sharing it! Let me know in the comments below what you’re looking forward to hearing about the most!!


  1. Joy McIntosh says:

    Hey Hannah! Your blog is cool! I really like the picture in “My Story”! I can’t wait to see you this month!

  2. Crystal says:

    Enjoyed your blog update and the pictures – and enjoyed you being here in Guatemala when we got to see you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not nearly often enough! Hope you’re doing well!! Love and hugs from the Schapers.

  3. Carrie says:

    Did you visit any farms or cities? I’d be interested in hearing your adventures in the airport went. Love your pictures. We were praying for you.

    • Hannah McIntosh says:

      Thank you so much for praying! We did visit an orphanage that was out in the country, which I found really interesting. Antigua was the only major city we traveled to, but I heard it is the city with one of the largest Easter/Holy Week celebrations in the world! We were there during the first part of Holy Week….and it was packed full.

      I wrote about my 60-second layover in this post, somewhere around the middle:

      My trip home was much more boring…I sat in the Dallas airport for 7+ hours and wrote an essay. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mikah says:

    I’d say you did pretty good fitting all that into an overview that really wasn’t very long!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ You’re very much missed here…but I’m so blessed that you got to come! We had such a blast!

  5. Seth Lancaster says:

    It’s great to hear about what the Lord is doing through other people throughout the world! Hearing stories and seeing photos makes it even better ๐Ÿ˜€
    Are you planning to go there for a longer time in the future?

      • Seth Lancaster says:

        Well I know the Lord has a plan and He’ll lead you along. That is one of the amazing things about our God! I just read Isaiah 42:16 which speaks exactly of that very thing!

    • Hannah McIntosh says:

      I had wondered if maybe they would throw one, but didn’t think it would be that day…but seeing teachers around the school (I was doing homework at the kitchen table, right in front of the window looking into the school yard) in their everyday clothes instead of their uniforms got me a little suspicious. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a special time!

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