Ian Zimmermann 2010

"Politics has always struck me as incredibly interesting as a basic means by which people make decisions. I have always sought to understand why people make the choices they do."

On things I will miss and things I won’t
April 24, 2010

As my time in Nebaj quickly comes to an end – just 4 short days until I leave – I’m left forced to think about the upcoming transition back into my old life. Call it reverse culture-shock or what you will, many basic things will be substantially different that what I’ve grown accustomed to.
So I’ve been reminiscing about my Guatemalan life, the positives and negatives – those things I’ve enjoyed and those I haven’t. I think I can do my best to distill the differences that exist between my lives in Guatemala and New Hampshire into three main categories:…

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Spanish Language Milestone
March 9, 2010

Not a doubt in the world, my Spanish language abilities have improved dramatically since arriving in Guatemala a little over five months ago. But occasionally, I still think “god, I’ve been in this country for so long, yet there are so many words I simply don’t know.”
Yesterday, though, I headed out with Ricardo, the host brother of Zuleika and regional coordinator for SolCom, to a campaign (free eye exams, reading glasses, and a couple other products) in a rural aldea called Quisis. I left the house a little before 6AM to catch a bus to another large (relative) town

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Education in Nebaj
February 26, 2010

Ed-u-ca-tion (noun) – the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
Studying in school does not make a person “educated.” As Laura mentioned this week…, the Guatemalan government doesn’t care about the education of students other than that kids are physically in school and it only values this for the political benefit. Teachers leave class at will and talk on their cell phones while “teaching.” Ultimately, if students learn absolutely nothing, no one is held accountable. Sure, teachers deserve

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Coffee in Guatemala
January 12, 2010

Of all the possible skills I thought I might be able to learn while living in Guatemala, using an espresso machine never ranked very high. But that is where expectations could be deceiving.Helen, another volunteer with Soluciones Comunitarias in Nebaj, brought a small espresso machine back from the States so that El Descanso, a small restaurant and favorite hangout place of gringos passing through town, could improve its coffee options (currently, they fill a big container of instant coffee).What better way to get tourists to stay in Nebaj a little longer and put more money into the local economy

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El café
January 12, 2010

Of all the possible skills I thought I might be able to learn while living in Guatemala, using an espresso machine never ranked very high. But that is where expectations could be deceiving.
Helen, another volunteer with Soluciones Comunitarias in Nebaj, brought a small espresso machine back from the States so that El Descanso, a small restaurant and favorite hangout place of gringos passing through town, could improve its coffee options (currently, they fill a big container of instant coffee).
What better way to get tourists to stay in Nebaj a little longer and put more money into the local

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Malnutrition and Education in Guatemala
December 22, 2009

This post by Fellow, Ian Zimmermann has been cross-posted from the Current TV News Blog….
Q: What are you first impressions? How does your new home compare to where you live in the US?
What an amazing place! I grew up in a small New England town, so in terms of the number of people here, it’s certainly nothing too overwhelmingly different; that said, it can be impossible to find certain things here. Want to buy some peanuts? Too bad – you have to travel an hour and a half to find any. I honestly had no idea that

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Perroquia/Las Pacayas
December 17, 2009

One of our major projects in Guatemala is to support Soluciones Comunitarias, an NGO which trains Guatemalans to sell health related products such as reading glasses, water purifiers, and vegetable seeds. This week, we spent two (long) days traveling around northern Quiche and I produced the following video to document our journey:…

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