1. Guatemala Telephone Talk

    Talking on the phone in Guatemala is always an awkward exchange. You can be confident that the person on the other line will answer the phone by saying “aló” which sounds like “hello” with a spanish accent. I have two theories on the word “aló.” Since the word means hello but is exclusively used when answering the phone I'm convinced that either A.) Spanish speakers made-up the word after the invention of the telephone for the sole purpose of answering calls like the American inventors demons...

  2. Guatemala Human Washing Machine

    Today I did a monstrous load of laundry. For the past two weeks I had successfully ignored the increase in empty hangers in my “closet” but, when my laundry basket began to overflow last night, I decided today i’d roll up my sleeves and get it over with. Laundry is an internal struggle for me. Every time I’m thirty minutes in to washing my clothes, when my arms start to ache and I look up to see only half of my clothes hanging to dry, half still wet in a huge bucket with detergent, I think to...

  3. Guatemala Jesus Cristo

      One great thing about the Peace Corps is the opportunity it affords to meet amazing people, both host country nationals and other Peace Corps volunteers. Ask any volunteer what enabled them to endure the taxing environments and situations they find themselves in over the course of two years of service, and I’d bet most would say, “the people.” I don’t know how I could have ridden this emotional roller coaster this long without my fellow volunteers. We grow together, celebrate our gains toge...

  4. Guatemala Let's Talk About Sex, Baby.

    I was getting blank stares from a sea of uniformed fifteen-year-olds as I fumbled through explaining how AIDS doesn’t actually kill an infected person- opportunistic infections are what inevitably bring about the demise of the patient. It was a struggle. I felt like I was explaining the process well but I didn’t get a single reassuring nod from the crowd. I hesitated and then turned to my counterpart for the HIV/AIDS training I was conducting for help. In previous sessions he was quick to jum...

  5. Guatemala Blackout

    I am writing this using a battery powered lantern that Dad sent me in one of his many packages. I usually reserve this light for night time showering. The electricity has been out for the past hour so it's working overtime tonight. Luckily, I still have 2 hours 29 minutes left on my Mac battery and my internet runs through the cell tower. We get blackouts about five times a week during the rainy season. It's not raining right now, so I am not sure what caused it this time. To be honest, thoug...

  6. El Salvador Reina

    The queen of International Environmental Day.

  7. El Salvador La Ceiba El Mico

    LA CEIBA EL MICO by Matthew J. Newman    The Peace Corps’ mission has three simple goals:   1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women. 2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served. 3. Helping promote a better understanding of the other peoples on the part of Americans.   For twenty-seven months, I served as a Community and Economic Development Specialist in Peace Corps El Salvador.  I was a foreig...

  8. El Salvador Youth

    This was the first photo I took while in Peace Corps.

  9. Honduras Weekend Morning

    Visiting my great volunteer friends, a couple, in coffee town Honduras.

  10. Nicaragua Somoto at Night

    My wife and I served in Somoto, Nicaragua as Community Health Promoters.  Somoto is a cowboy town 30 minutes from the border with Honduras.  It sits in a valley surrounded by bare mountains.  This photo was taken from our street corner.  It was almost impossible not to look up at the mountains and marvel at the site no matter the time of day, but this picture really gets to the heart of the beauty of Nicaragua.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.