Category Archives: Guatemala

Reblog* Misunderstanding the GDP…

and how the GDP misunderstands us.

I’m back from Guatemala and free of Malaria, Typhoid Fever, and Hepatitis. I’ll never know if I was exposed to any of these or if it was the cocktail of vaccines I took that staved off illness, but I stand by my prevention strategy and would do it again!

Although the stunning landscapes are romantic, I am reminded that the people of Guatemala live with the threats of these diseases without the privilege of prevention. In Guatemala, the Canadian standard of well-being is imaginary and it seems even our GDPs (Gross Domestic Product) prove that.

As citizens of a wealthy country, we often point to the long-held belief that people in poor countries are happier. It is comforting to imagine that our wealth would not make life better – perhaps we feel a little less guilty about our unfettered access to clean water, abundant food, advanced education, and one of the world’s best public healthcare systems – but it seems we are deluding ourselves.

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Today I…

drank water from the tap

sent my kids to school

flushed paper down the toilet

wore a sweater

sat in silence

didn’t see litter

breathed fresh air

spoke on the telephone

read the news

saw a dog on a leash

edited some photos


listened to my stereo

turned on the furnace

withdrew money from my bank account

updated my Facebook status


ate raw fruit and vegetables

cleaned my house

saw snow

played with my kids

chose not to eat beans and plaintains

… but I miss Continue reading

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