In this week’s episode of The Whole Circle Podcast we talk all about our recent incredible trip to Guatemala.
We’ve arrived home safe and sound and our minds are still spinning from the amazing trip we just got to experience.
Since our return, we have had lots of questions from people wanting us to articulate how the trip made us feel. To be honest, it really is incredibly hard to articulate or to articulate it in a way that truly does it justice.
It was definitely life-changing that’s for sure.
It was also very humbling. The communities we went to were living in extreme poverty. We have witnessed this before given we spent some of our childhood living in Papua New Guinea, so we were not as shocked by it as we perhaps should have been or as shocked as some of our travel mates were, but the thing that struck us the most was that the people in these communities were extremely happy.
They don’t know any different. Living this way is their version of normal. They have nothing to compare it to, so they make the most of what they have and live their best lives possible.
Tracey’s 1st key take-away from the trip
The negative impact that western society has had on these communities. Everywhere she looked kids were chewing gum, or drinking soft drink, or eating junk food. doTERRA and Choice Humanitarian who are working together in these communities and are working on turning around because of the impacting it’s having. The kids have rotten teeth, there’s rubbish everywhere that’s wreaking havoc on the environment as well as ruining the beauty of the landscape.
We found it really sad and very concerning.
It really drove home the point that every single choice we make matters. Whether it’s choosing what products to buy, or making sure to recycle everything we can, what companies to align ourselves with. A prime example is doTERRA, we wholeheartedly believe in everything doTERRA strives for in educating communities such as these to make the world a better place. Having a global social conscience is extremely important to them and an ethos that resonates with us so intrinsically.
Jo’s key take-away from the trip
Whilst they were in Guatemala Jo got to attend a Days for Girls education session.
Days for Girls are turning periods into pathways. They increase access to menstrual care and education in third world or developing countries by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilising volunteers and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. They create a world with dignity, health and opportunity for all. No more will women and girls be shamed for having their periods and be disallowed to attend work or school and be sent to isolation when they’re menstruating. So far Days for Girls has reached more than 1 million girls and counting. They provide education to women and girls about their reproductive systems as well as providing them with menstruation kits so that they can hygienically look after themselves.
They also educate the men as well about how a woman’s body works and taking the shame and stigma away so that they can be supportive to the women in their lives.
It is vital work that they do and incredibly empowering to women.
During the presentation a woman’s reproductive system was discussed and all the women were quite giggly and embarrassed at the start but then the presenter started talking about their cycle and when during their cycle they should expect their period and if they don’t get it during this time then that’s nor normal and they should see a doctor. They also talked about when they are likely to be ovulating so that this can help them to avoid unwanted pregnancies. During this discussion the women were transfixed and concentrating because they knew this was vital information they needed to know because they had never been told this before.
Talk then turned to the menstruation hygiene kits and it was Jo’s job to show the ladies how to put a pad in your underwear. The girls were a bit giggly again but, they had no idea what to do because they had never seen it before. Every single woman left with a hygiene kit that are reusable and were sewn and made in Australia.
There were some older women there who were talking to the presenters afterwards who were saying that they don’t get periods anymore and asked if they should see a doctor. It was determined that they had gone through menopause. From this, Days for Girls will be modifying their talks to include discussing menopause.
Whilst this presentation was taking place, Tracey, unfortunately, didn’t get to attend but she had an equally important role, playing with all the kids whose mothers were in the Days for Girls session. She loved every second of it playing with those kids and being in their joyful presence.
Tracey’s 2nd key take-away from the trip
Seeing firsthand dōTERRA’s Co-Impact Sourcing initiative and what that really means.
Tracey got to see the massive impact this sourcing initiative has on not just every farmer that aligns with doTERRA, but the massive impact it has on their families and their communities.
These farmers are being educated on how to best farm cardamom to yield the best crops possible and crops that will last and be sustainable through the generations.
It took time for doTERRA to build these relationships with the farmers as the farmers were wary of western influences given their own farming practices had been handed down through generations.
But once the relationships were built these farming communities are now reaping the benefits because they are yielding bigger and better crops and they are so grateful to doTERRA for educating them.
Let’s backtrack … how did we get to Sika’abe in Guatemala?
It was a loooooong trip to get there. It took about 33 hours to get from Hobart to Guatemala City. We were supposed to go on about a 12-hour bus ride up into the mountains, but there had been quite a lot of rain and mudslides, so they changed the plan. Instead, we went on two planes to ferry us, 1 plane was a 10-seater and the other was a 30-seater. The flight was about 45 minutes which took us to the coastline of the Caribbean. We then went on a 2-hour boat ride up the Caribbean which sounds very luxurious but it was a very basic boat like a large dinghy with a plastic roof and not a cruise ship! Haha After that we then embarked on a 4-hour bus ride up the mountain.
It gave us a massive appreciation for how they get cardamom essential oil to us and not just that oil but all essential oils that come from third world countries!
The process it takes to get that little bottle of oil into our homes it mind-blowing and we only saw a small portion. It really shocked us because it’s not something we really tend to think about, but we sure do now.
Just from farm to the distillery is a 15-hour truck drive. They managed to drive overnight for us so that when we got to the distillery, we could see a batch of cardamom seeds being distilled.
If you buy doTERRA oils…
You are in the best hands possible! They have THE BEST social conscience; they are humble and are dedicated to ensuring our planet and the people on it are well looked after.
If we all supported companies that are doing the right thing a little more then the world would be a much better place!
Every little bit matters, and every decision you make counts.
If you want to buy doTERRA oils…
Then we’d love to have you on our team and educate you on how to use them. You can check it all out at https://additivefreelifestyle.com/instructions
Jo and Tracey x
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