Post Script: Guatemala

 After a brief stop in the United States to do our laundry, do our taxes, see our families, take a break from our blog, attend Jed's brother's engagement party, go to Jed's cousin's christening, celebrate Meg's brother's birthday, and meet with some people at the State Department in Washington, DC (phew! In some ways our trip to the US was more parapetic than our trip around the world), it was off on a reconaissance mission to Latin America. 

Our Mission: Meet with contacts, scout cities/towns that we might live in, and find jobs
First Stop: Guatemala

As we've told people many times over the last months, our goal is to live in Latin America for a couple of years in a Spanish speaking country, where our work will be of public service, and which isn't too dangerous or unstable (sayonara Venezuela). 

 More specifically, going into this scouting trip, we were ideally hoping to find (in this order): 
 1. A job for Meg in her field (at least some degree of clinical, primary care pediatrics mixed ideally with some elements of public health and health education work)

 2. A good  country to live, preferably in Central America, since the need is greater there than in many parts of South America and it is easier to get back to the US (the flight from Guatemala City to New York is shorter than New York to San Francisco)

 3. A good town/city to live in- we were hoping for some place that wasn't too big or too dangerous but was still cosmopolitian enough to have cultural activities and things like internet and a supermarket where one can buy peanut butter and Heinz ketchup (the availability of the latter is on indicator on Jed's economic development scale)

 4. A job for Jed that was somewhat related to his work in NYC government- ideally this would be working with a municipality (or possibly an NGO) on improving service delivery to citizens and/or tracking the effectiveness of projects

 We were lucky enough to stay with some friends in Antigua, Guatemala who let us camp out in their guest room for several days as we went to meetings with NGOs, government agencies, and other organizations in Guatemala City.  Over the course of 5 days we had numerous meetings with various contacts. Combine that with several hours of traffic (and getting lost) in Guatemala City and it was a busy week. Though we had several fun diversions including a couple of fun dinners out on the town in Antigua and a day spent climbing a volcano with the US Ambassador (who was extremely nice and full of great advice).   We then headed up to Quetzaltenango (aka "Xela.") where Meg visited some clinics and Jed introduced himself to the mayor (literally; even gave him his resume; the mayor is "looking for possibilities for him.") 

 Next stop on on the Latin American reconnaissance trip: El Salvador



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