PASEO Program Adventure: Overview

Throughout the past two months, I’ve been living in Huanchaco, Peru, and even though my trip is officially over, I wanted to dedicate a post to the town I called home this past summer. 

“Huanchaco is a surfing and fishing village about 30 minutes north of Trujillo- the capital of the region, La Libertad, and the third biggest city in Peru. Huanchaco is best known for having waves that are surfable year-round and for it’s traditional ancient fishing methods using reed fishing boats called Caballitos de Totora. These boats data back 3,000 years and numerous festivals throughout the year celebrate this fishing culture.

The town of Huanchaco has about 5000 inhabitants, and is home to several shanty towns that are largely populated by migrants from the highlands. Many of these migrants came to the coastal region due to extensive flooding caused by the natural phenomenon El Niño in 1997/1998. In addition to the influx of migrants over the past twenty years, Huanchaco has also had a small but significant increase in the number of European expats living in the area. This population change is largely related to the increasing presence of international NGOs and international schools in the Trujillo area, as well as to the pleasant climate and laid-back lifestyle” (

The peaceful and serene atmosphere in Huanchaco is truly unique and refreshing, and the locals are incredibly kind and welcoming. While it can be difficult adjusting to a new location in a different country, and while it can often be strange and uncomfortable calling another place your home, things are different in this town. In Huanchaco, home is exactly the word one would use to describe the sensation you experience while staying here.

Aside from being able to live in such a wonderful town, throughout this experience, I was fortunate enough to have made such great friends who truly enhanced the feeling of being home. Living and working in Peru alongside incredible individuals in such a beautiful country has been the experience of a lifetime, and one that I hope will take place again in the near future. (Stay tuned for more on that later). 

In the meantime (of course, until tomorrow), I’ll end on this note. It can absolutely be nerve-racking and even terrifying to pick up and move to a different country to pursue a new adventure. We don’t all need to make such drastic changes, but at least being open to new possibilities and adventures is truly important. A challenge that we can all work towards overcoming is not allowing our fears to overpower our desires to pursue new experiences. We never know what awaits us on the other side if we don’t take a leap of faith once in a while and try something new and exciting. 

Snapshot Challenge Saturday

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the NEDA walk in Miami. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate out of any mental illness, and if we can help bring additional awareness to this important cause, more individuals can receive the help and support they need to overcome this awful disorder. Seeing so many individuals come together for a wonderful cause was truly beautiful, but knowing that even more individuals will receive the medical attention they deserve is even more beautiful.


Misioneros Del Camino: The Opening of a Neurological Center

In 1986, Mami Leo answered a call from God to pack her belongings and move to Guatemala to help abandoned, abused, and malnourished children. With $2,700 raised by her and her prayer group, and faith that the Lord would guide her, Mami Leo devoted nearly thirty years of her life living in the mountains, nourishing, educating, and loving countless Guatemalan children in need. Throughout the past month, I have been discussion the incredible milestones that Misioneros Del Camino has accomplished thus far. As the story continues, we pick back up in 2006.

In 2006, a neurological center was established on site, providing care and numerous therapies to children with various neurological disorders such as autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and many more. With a great team of certified therapists, psychologists, and doctors, hundreds of children are able to obtain the necessary treatments that they wouldn’t be able to receive anywhere else.

In addition to special education, various types of therapies are provided to the children at the neurological center including: speech, physical, psychological, occupational, and sensorial therapy. Neurological and psychological evaluations as well as parental and therapeutic training seminars are also provided so that the children can learn to overcome the obstacles faced with their neurological disorders to the best of their abilities.

As you can see in the video below, all it takes is determination and a dream to make a difference in someone else’s life, which is exactly what Mami Leo has been done for nearly thirty years.

Overcoming Our Fears

Let’s talk about those infamous fears that tend to obstruct our every day lives. Such fears include that of meeting new people, the fear of being alone in the later years of your life, or even the fear of not being able to accomplish your goals. Sometime or another, we have all found or will find ourselves facing at least one of these fears, or maybe something else along these lines. In no way is having these fears a terrible thing because let’s face it, if you didn’t have these fears, well, I would probably fear for you.

When it comes to thinking about one’s future, who’s to say what will or won’t happen? No one really knows, so a bit of uneasiness or anxiousness is perfectly okay. But when you fear something to the point of it getting in the way of your every day life, that’s when we find ourselves with a bit of a problem. Some people are afraid of making new friends, some fear for never meeting that special someone, and other may be afraid of not accomplishing their life-long goals. Well, to overcome such fears so that you can ultimately make new friends and meet a partner to get romantically involved with, you’re going to have to put yourself out there and give it a shot. There is nothing to lose, except your shyness and your fear. We all need to be around people every so often, because seclusion can eventually lead to depression, which then leads to needing a psychologist, and we all know how pricy that route tends to be.

In a recent post of mine, I mentioned that we should all love unconditionally. A fellow blogger commented saying that he used to love unconditionally, but it’s difficult to do so because love is a two way street. When it comes to meeting new people or new prospects to become romantically involved with, regardless of the circumstances, think of yourself as a magnet, if you will, and imagine that wherever you go, people will be attracted to you. If you are meant to be friends with someone or be with that person on a more intimate level, then you will magnetize that person. On the other hand, if you are not meant to be friends with someone, you will simply repel one another, and that will be the end of it. In order to see the process of magnetism in action, you have to make some kind of an effort when it comes to introducing yourself to others around you. Don’t count on others to come over and introduce themselves to you, because if you keep waiting for that to happen and it never does, you’ll end up spending the rest of your life just waiting. Making friends is a work in progress, and if you don’t make friends right away, keep in mind that the time will come when you will eventually meet someone with whom there will be mutual attraction or magnetism.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself overcoming a situation in which you fear meeting new people; you fear of talking to someone whom you hope to become romantically involved with; or you fear accomplishing certain objectives and goals that you set out for yourself. See the success of you conquering your fear. Feel yourself achieving great things in life. These fears that you hold on to are doing nothing but keeping you down, so why not break through the glass ceiling which has been hovering over you for so long? You can accomplish anything that you set your mind to so open your eyes and overcome these fears.

Overcoming The Word “No”

In life, there will be plenty of instances in which we will be faced with the infamous word “No.” No, you cannot eat dessert before dinner; No, you cannot miss school tomorrow; No, I will not give you extra credit; No, I will not give you extra vacation days; No, I won’t go on a date with you; No, I won’t be your boyfriend/girlfriend; No, you are not the right person for the job; And No, I will not go home with you (thought I’d add that in there for a little more excitement).

At the time, a big “No” stamped on our foreheads may seem like quite the difficult obstacle to overcome, but in actuality, is really isn’t. When faced with the word “No,” we should use that rejection as motivation to continue on with what we’re doing to ultimately achieve our desired goal(s).

Accept the challenge of a “No” and keep on going until you find yourself moving in the right direction. The value of hard work is one in which we have to put in an effort in order to achieve what we want. So don’t expect someone to just ask you out, and don’t expect a great job to just fall in your lap. If you put in some kind of an effort, not only can you achieve all of these things, but you will find what is right for you, regardless of what it is that you desire in life.