Lessons from more than 30 combined years navigating a foreign culture: RRT 14

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The unsung hero of all that we’ve accomplished here in Guatemala are the local communities and people where we live and work. In this Regenerative Round Table I spoke with Charlie and Gabi, two of my closest friends here at the lake about the challenges and learning experiences over a combined 30 years living and working with the local Mayan communities around Lake Atitlan. We speak at length about the intricacies of running organizations and projects in this area and the challenges of respectful navigation and deeper understanding of a culture that is significantly different from the ones we were raised with. In this episode we explore everything from the traditions and customs, language barriers, differences in access to infrastructure and resources, and much more. I’m passionate about exploring the often-overlooked aspect of traditions and culture in the holistic design process and how to consider these essential elements in community regeneration to facilitate the healthy development from all people involved. For that reason, I would also love to hear your own stories of cultural learning and observation, whether you’ve lived and worked in another part of the world or have played host to foreigners visiting your community. I hope this sparks a larger conversation about respectful consideration and even celebration of the differences in our cultures and ways of life. I look forward to your comments and stories.

Resources:

La Cambalacha Website

Previous podcasts with Charlie Rendall

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