Olivia Sharkey, St. Vincent College ’13, shares her reflections as she begins her internship with Sr. Esperanza in Guatemala City.
When asked why I wanted to come back to Guatemala for a third time and participate in an internship program, the answer is easy: to give back to the community that has given so much to me. The Zona 3 community holds such a large part of my heart and has genuinely affected my perspective on life, myself, and God. Benedictine values have never been so apparent to me than when I’m at the Francisco Coll School. The students and faculty do not constitute a school, rather a family. The genuine sense of community is contagious from the moment you enter their presence. Their sense of hospitality is one that cannot be matched. What little they have they would still gladly give to you. However, when looking through the eyes of faith, you discover they have more than one could ever imagine people of a dump community having.

I am extremely appreciative to International Samaritan for this opportunity. I have a great admiration for this organization because its roots lie with teenagers, demonstrating that you can have a voice in the Church, be effective, and fulfill what God is calling you to do, no matter what your age is.