Looking Back One Year as a Volunteer in NPH Guatemala

My time as the Communication Officer in 2017.
February 4, 2018 - Guatemala

Playing Marimba at NPH.

My name is Thomas, and I come from Karlsruhe, Germany. I first heard about NPH from a colleague who works for NPH Germany while I was studying sustainable development. I decided to volunteer for a year at NPH for two reasons: first, I was already a little familiar with the culture of Latin America, as I have traveled there before; second, I wanted to work more with children and young adults.

So, as I already knew a bit about the culture of Guatemala and already spoke some Spanish, I had an easy start and quickly adapted to the extended family of NPH Guatemala. I felt so happy the first few weeks, as the kids greeted me by name, hugged me and shared time with me. I also was very interested to get to know all the people here, and little by little, I learned who is who.

The job as a Communication Officer is great, as it allows you to get involved in all the different areas of NPH: children in the home, the school, the workshops, the community programs; but also the chefs in the kitchen, the teachers in the school and the external pupils from the surrounding villages. That's probably what I liked most about my work: being in contact with all the different people and getting a deeper understanding and background of the kids, teachers and employees working for NPH Guatemala.

As more time passed, the more I learned about the children, their personalities, and their difficulties. All year long, I enjoyed taking photos of the activities and celebrations we had in the home, and loved writing about the events.

On weekday evenings and every other weekend, I had the pleasure of taking care of the youngest kids in the babies' house. Spending time with them playing, laughing and reading gave me balance and harmony. To see them grow and improve over the year was the greatest gift for me. This year at NPH Guatemala, I have learned the practice of unconditional love, giving, sharing and expressing pure happiness. In the future, I will come back to see my kids becoming young adults and admirable people.

Special thanks to Evelyn, my supervisor; Erin Stuckey, Director of Communications; Hibeth, Social Worker of the NPH OneFamily Program; Julissa, Volunteer Coordinator of NPH Guatemala; Pia, Volunteer Coordinator of NPH Germany; Padre Reynaldo, and all the kids living here, for being part of my growing family.

Thomas Hartig   
Communication Officer




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