Our Adventures in Guatemala

Thank you for all your support of this once-in-a-lifetime experience!


Meet Team Guatemala: Matteo, Team Member

Howdy! My name is Matteo and I am super stoked to be joining all these wonderful people on our adventure into Guatemala and can’t wait for the meaningful and exciting experience I know that awaits us!m mm

A few things about me (other than my horrible knack for procrastinating…I’m working on it I swear!):
My favourite thing to do is exploring a place I’ve never been, which sometimes means literally finding a random place that seems interesting on Google Maps and somehow getting there and taking a little stroll. I am an avid outdoorsman with a love of nature and love to do anything that gets me outside. My favourite outdoor activities include canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and hitting up the rink with my pals on a cold winter night! I love to play and watch any and all sports, my favourites being hockey and rugby.

Apart from my athletic and adventurous side I’ve also been playing music as long as I can remember. Starting with piano it has now progressed to learning anything I can get my hands on. I play drums in a few bands ranging from country/folk to heavy metal and recently I’ve taken up jamming on the ukulele which I truly believe is the greatest stress reliever imaginable as it is impossible to be angry while playing it!

I also have a passion for animals and I have a beautiful lab-retreiver who’s been with my family for over 10 years as well as a recently deceased Bearded Dragon (RIP Norbert).

ASB is one of those things I’ve been eyeing since coming to Carleton and never really had the guts to pull the trigger on. After a few friends came back with nothing but amazing things to say about the program I started to take my interest in it seriously and decided to apply! I can’t wait to get out there and help out with something meaningful that will hopefully make a difference for the people of Uaxactun. Since I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of having a low ecological footprint, the nature of this project is exciting to me and I can’t wait to undertake such a fulfilling task with such an awesome team!!!

NINE. – Carolyn

Nine (nīn/) –

Equivalent to the product of three and three; one more than eight, and one less than ten; 9.

In other words 9 DAYS UNTIL WE LEAVE!


Three pre-departures, countless office hours and one kick ass potluck later and we are only nine days away!
From a Team Lead perspective it has been a whole different experience this time around. It is crazy and wonderful to see everyone begin to come together. To start off as 16 strangers who attend a school with thousands of people come together for different and the same reasons. And those reasons are about to become so real.

The first night will be an all nighter, from Carleton to Guatemala. A night where I can only begin to imagine the craziness that will take place on the bus rides and the air planes. From there we have a 12-hour bus ride to our little remote community, where the week begins!

Uaxactun, Guatemala

Tikal National Park

Thank you to all those who have donated! We are so excited and can’t wait to show you pictures and tell you of our experience!

P.S We ordered Team shirts so not only we will be the most excited group at the airport we will also be the best looking!

Meet Team Guatemala: Missy – Team Member

My name is Missy Hong, and I am a forth-year student majoring in Communication Studies at Carleton University. I originally came from China, but I have been in Ottawa for two years.

I am really passionate about communication, media and things related, which was also the reason why I came all the way from China to here at Carleton’s Communication program. Watching dramas and movies is always the things I do for relax, and music is something I can’t live without.

I traveled a lot. It is really exciting to see different cultures and meet different people, and I feel great as a traveler, because you get to notice many things you will never do in the places you are familiar with. So I am looking forward to going to Guatemala this year, especially because we are going do some real and concrete things for the local community.

Meet Team Guatemala: Michaela – Team Member

Hi there!

My name is Michaela and I’m so pleased with being accepted to the Alternative Spring Break program for 2015! Guatemala was my first choice, and I don’t think that I could be more excited – not only for the trip itself, but also to meet a group of like-minded young people! This will be my first experience doing anything like this, and I am hopeful that it will be all that I imagine that it will be!

I was born and raised in Manotick (a little village near Barrhaven/the Airport). I am a second year Communication Studies student, and I’m minoring in Canadian Studies. I’m currently working at the Starbucks in the Library (come say hi!). I would consider myself a very laid back person. I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Reddit, Alternative Rock. Sleep and food are very important to me.

I chose to do Alternative Spring Break because I want to help establish a community of friends at Carleton, and perhaps one in another country as well! I haven’t travelled in a very long time and so I’m very excited to do something new and important!

Can’t wait to meet and get to know you all! Enjoy my selfie.

Meet Team Guatemala: Abigail – Team Member

Hello! My name is Abigail and I’m ecstatic to be travelling to Uaxactun in the new year! I am in my second year of studies in Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour with a minor in French. I hope to study abroad for a year to facilitate my minor, either in France or Belgium. I have a passion for botany and I plan to attend the Horticulture Industries program at Algonquin after graduating from Carleton.


For leisure, I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors. Little can compare to the thrill of roughing a good canoe trip in the wilderness, or standing before a beautiful vista. Casually stargazing on these adventurous nights, or visiting the observatory on campus when open, is invigorating for me. Indoors, I’ve picked up Pilates and yoga, as well as some baking and pastry classes. My most recent pursuit has been beginning to play an alto saxophone.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity before me. As a newcomer to the concept of Community Service-Learning, I am captivated by the idea of listening to the needs of the community and responding accordingly – rather than simply providing a service without consulting the targeted group. I sincerely hope that our time and effort will be beneficial to the people of Uaxactun and I look forward to being a part of making something happen. I’m quite excited to learn more about the culture and history of the area we will be working in, in addition to experiencing some of it first-hand. Also given my lack of knowledge outside of English and French, it will be an eye-opening experience to interact and communicate on the basis of human understanding without a common language.

I believe this will be a grand learning experience. I am going with an open mind and an open heart, so no expectations. I am looking forward to seeing how the experience unfolds; I eagerly await whichever adventures are to come and any accompanying self-discovery!

Cheers to meeting some great individuals and forming some new friendships! Furthermore, I hear the flora, fauna and landscapes in Guatemala are extraordinary. May the contributions to the community, knowledge gained, lessons learned, and fond memories be bountiful!

If you would like to support myself, another member of our team, or the program itself, you can do so by following the link below. Anything is appreciated, thank-you!


Meet Team Guatemala: Rachel – Team member

Hi there! I’m Rachel and am excited to be a member of Team Guatemala! I’m currently a fourth year student studying political sciences.  I love to laugh and that includes surprising people, playing pranks, and telling jokes. In my spare time, I love to engage my mind and body, even if I’m not necessarily good at it. This includes running, playing soccer, reading, sewing, and knitting, just to name a few. In addition to this, I love going on adventures and through hiking, camping, and general exploring, I’ve been able to see a multitude of beautiful animals, plants, and views. Through each of these activities, I find that I’m able to challenge my brain. Without a question, something always pops up and there is a feeling of accomplishment when I find a solution that I find, either by myself or with the help of others and the internet (it’s a magical place). I love making up stories and trying to explain why things are the way they are.


This being said, I tend to be a passive individual who acceptsmy circumstance and does little to change it. For me, ASB gives me a chance to break out of my bubble of Western classroom learning and get to know the rest of the world through a hands on experience. ASB offers me a chance to lend a helping hand at a local level and in a way that the community finds meaningful.

As ASB offers a Community Service learning tool, I hope to gain cultural literacy as well as an understanding of how the world works outside of the Western sphere. I also hope to widen my own comfort zone and become more aware of the needs of the community, both in Uaxactun and my own. On a more superficial note, I am really excited to see the all the sights, from Mayan ruins to the wildlife, that Uaxactun has to offer.

If you would like to donate to either me, my teammates, or the program as a whole you can at