Every year, Christopherson Business Travel sponsors an volunteer trip for a selected group of employees. An NGO working in seven countries, Choice Humanitarian is driven to end extreme poverty. The employees volunteering this year ventured to a small village in Guatemala. There, they helped build in-home stoves and paint community buildings. As a corporate sponsor and long-time supporter, these annual trips are just one of the many avenues in which Christopherson cooperates with Choice Humanitarian.
Brandon’s volunteer experience
Going on the CHOICE Humanitarian expedition to Guatemala was an experience that ingrained itself in my life from the moment I got off the plane. We landed, made it through customs. While waiting for our bus, we were greeted by a panhandler asking for $2 (although it was never clear if he was hoping for $2 or just 2 quetzales, the currency in Guatemala). The ability to convert currency on the fly became an immediate trait that one had to adapt to quickly. Then a young man and his elementary school aged brother helped load our luggage, and asked for 3 quetzales—roughly $0.40. It was then that it really became apparent to me that we were in a third world country.
Aside from the poverty, run down city, and areas that you would never dare venture into at night, Guatemala had some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen. Of course, having the chance to travel with and help CHOICE made the trip most appealing.
Meeting the villagers and getting to experience their customs and way of life has forever changed my views on extreme poverty. It also helped me to conclude that, if you are thinking about, or have ever wondered if you should participate in one of these expeditions, the answer should be a big YES. The people I met and the friendships I developed are ones I will cherish for a lifetime.
See more of Brandon’s team’s photos here and pictures from previous expeditions.