Registered Nurse Spends a Year Abroad Studying Spanish in Guatemala

Semilla Website Administrator

Healthcare Internship Provides Multi-Level Learning Opportunities

Monika Neufeld first learned about CASAS programs from a friend. This piqued her interest in learning Spanish and her curiosity about the possibility of a health internship in Guatemala. CASAS, in conjunction with Mennonite Mission Network, made it possible. Monika’s internship extends through May 2022.

Monika, a registered nurse from Manitoba, Canada, values living in different cultures, learning about health issues, and working alongside people from different countries. Her internship offers all three. She began her internship in Guatemala City, studying Spanish at CASAS, volunteering at Hospital Cristiano de Guatemala, a local hospital, and living with a host family.

Monika is now living in San Juan La Laguna, a small picturesque village on Lake Atitlán where the population is largely Tz’utujil, one of the 21 Mayan groups of Guatemala. She lives with a host family and volunteers at the AMI San Lucas clinic. AMI San Lucas is a Christian project that offers several programs, including community health outreach.

Doing an international internship during a pandemic can be challenging.

“With the pandemic, you definitely have to be flexible as plans change daily or weekly based on COVID numbers or regulations,” Monika said. She adds that her time in Guatemala has been filled with lots of learning and new experiences. She may even master some of the Tz’utujil language in addition to improving her Spanish in her remaining time there.

MonikaNeufeld with host family

Monika is featured here with her host family in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala.