Follow-Up Projects: Guatemala 2019

Learn how Project Inspire participants have shared their experience and made an impact in Boston.

Alex & Olivia


“A trip highlight was meeting with MayaWorks, a Guatemalan social enterprise supporting education for girls and helping Mayan Women achieve financial independence by selling handmade woven items including kippot, tallits and challah covers. We were drawn to their business model of communal empowerment and were equally impressed with the beauty and quality of their goods. Since returning to Boston, we have strengthened our relationship with MayaWorks’s leadership to better understand their business model and learn how the Boston Jewish community can be a supportive partner. We’ve focused on sharing their inspiring story with as many people as possible, both in person and online through Looking ahead, we plan on helping Maya Works develop partnerships with Judaica stores and synagogues throughout New England. We enthusiastically welcome any inquiries to learn more about this incredible organization and ways your community can help support them.”




“Let me tell you what it’s like to make a video for Project Inspire! There I am across the world (3,546 miles away from Boston to be exact) in Guatemala. Specifically, on this day I am in an ancient city called Antigua. Every direction that I look is exploding with culture and vibrancy. Local music echoes through the cobblestone streets from unseen sources deep in this landmark city. Our group of travelers spent a week exposed to the culture, government, and people of Guatemala. We grappled with the relationships the country has to Israel, to the USA, and to human rights in general. It’s an experience that many of us will never forget, and I was right there to capture it all through a camera lens. After returning home, I poured over the footage to find the perfect two-minute video. As good as it turned out, I know that nothing captured in a camera compares to the real thing. Still, hopefully my video provides others a small glimpse into what might await them if they have the courage to see it for themselves. And maybe that’s enough for now.”




“After experiencing and learning non-stop in Guatemala, I wanted to spread the word in my community, both about the work Israel does internationally and about this amazing experience for young adults in the Boston area. I work at Epstein Hillel School, the Jewish day school north of Boston, so I have a great audience built into my job. I created two presentations about the trip, one geared towards middle school students and the other towards adults. I had the opportunity to present the trip to the middle school students during one of their student leadership blocks. The information I shared was the perfect addition to what they already know and love about Israel. I was also able to present the trip at our community wide Kabbalat Shabbat, so that all of the other students at the school and their families and caregivers could learn both about Israel's work and about this amazing opportunity!”




“One of my favorite parts of the trip was to connect with people and hear their personal narratives. When I returned to Boston, I hosted a Shabbat Inspire dinner with my closest friends. We had a traditional blessing to welcome the weekend and then guests introduced themselves. We ate and mingled, and I shared my experience in Guatemala and how the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) is being put into practice through Israeli ingenuity. We then enjoy the rest of the evening getting to know each other and meaningful conversations!”


Nathan & Yoni


“Going to Guatemala with CJP was an unforgettable experience. We had the opportunity to engage with students and leaders from a completely different culture. The more we saw, the more we remarked that, while very different in many ways, Guatemala and the United States also share similar issues - rising wealth disparity, underfunded public education, and increasing environmental crisis... sound familiar? After our trip, Yoni and I wanted to create a forum to discuss our experiences. We hosted a round table discussion with friends from our community where we served snacks, beer and chatted into the warm summer evening. I was very grateful to have gone on this trip. It gave me some wonderful insight into one of, in my opinion, the most misunderstood countries in the world at present.”





"While visiting Guatemala, I was inspired by the women we met from Mayaworks, a social enterprise helping women gain financial independence. To share the story about these women, I hosted a Shabbat dinner with friends and discussed questions around Israel’s humanitarian work abroad."