Ann Lee Hancock Konneker-Cutler Scholar
Volunteering Experience, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
"I worked as a photographer and designer for a grassroots non-profit called Semmilla Nueva (New Seed). The organization helped impoverished farmers with new technologies in sustainable agriculture."
"Other times organizations will come in, give gifts to the impoverished people, introduce a technology that is not able to be upheld long term and then leave, doing much more good to their own conscience than to the people in the community. Doing volunteer work in another culture is a give-and-take relationship and I learned so much from the rural communities."
"I realized how lucky I am to have everything I have in life like a home with food and hot water, a washer and dryer, equal gender rights and especially education. But I’m not just lucky, having what I have also makes me responsible for something. It makes me responsible to utilize every opportunity and to give back to those who weren’t given an opportunity.""I worked a lot with a Guatemalan man named Trinidad Recinos and he taught me a lot about the art of learning and its importance. He was a very important inspiration to me on my trip… I respected him very much as my boss, as a leader, a listener and a friend."
"After a long week living and working in the Guatemalan sun, Trinidad Recinos spoke on my half to the rest of our team. ‘Kara es pura guerrillera!’ he said in his entrancing voice: pure warrior. I will live on that compliment for the rest of my life."