Latin America Here We Come (May 7, 2010)

To cut to the chase: We're moving to Guatemala!

After 50+ meetings, in 3 countries, over the course of several weeks, we've found our ideal situation in Xela, Guatemala. If you had asked us 3 months ago what kind of place we wanted to live in Latin America, we would have described exactly Xela (or Quentzaltanango), Guatemala. Guatemala's second city, Xela is a medium-sized city of 300,000 with a large indigenous population, a beautiful colonial core, beautiful scenery, good restaurants and the full range of services anyone could want (see here for what Lonely Planet and Wikipedia have to say).

A view of Xela's colonial central square

On top of that, Meg has found her perfect job there. She'll be working as the Medical Coordinator for the Pop Wuj medical clinic. The clinic sees medically underserved local residents and is connected to the Pop Wuj Spanish School which supplies many volunteers from US medical schools. Officially Meg will be an employee of the Timmy Foundation, a US-based organization which organizes medical brigades of American doctors, medical students, and others that come to Guatemala for week long trips to provide intensive medical care to many of the underserved communities surrounding Xela.

Jed also has some great opportunities consulting with Guatemala municipalities- a field he didn't even know existed 3 months ago! But there is actually quite a robust group of organizations that are working with Guatemalan cities and towns to better service delivery and improve transparency. So Jed can actually do work that is related to his work in New York City government, which means the last 6 years of working at the Department of Consumer Affairs isn't totally inapplicable (which is nice!). At present, Jed is planning to begin consulting with the Inter-American Development Bank starting this summer.

And to top it all off, we've already got a short term place to live in Xela- in an apartment a 5 minute walk from the central park and Meg's work. The place is twice as nice and 4 times the size of our last New York apartment- all for 15% of the monthly rent! In addition to a garden area and a terrace it has a guest bedroom so start planning your Guatemalan vacation....

A view of Xela and environs

In all, this is a great ending to what has been an amazing journey over the past 6 months. We're incredibly blessed to have seen so much of the world and to end up in as worthy a place as Guatemala. And stay tuned to our blog as we hope to give updates on our lives in Guatemala.

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