PCV Kate Guzman

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People are so diverse here. Literally no one is what they seem. No one. Kate fits that bill. I remember walking past her talking in full on french and was shocked. Being a few weeks in learning spanish and STRUGGLING and trying to pick it up or understand it when I hear it then hearing someone else speak French was jarring. My brain was like.. wait.. 
Volunteer Profile:
Katelyn Guzman 
Age: 23
Sector: Small Biz
BS in Biology. Psychology. Chemistry. (3 Separate degrees)
From:Boise Idaho 
Fun fact: I tried out for American idol. 
Why did you join the PC?
I’ve always wanted to help people. I started a nonprofit when I was ten. Seeing its impact really affected my decision to take my service abroad. I really wanted to travel and I figured this would be the best way to do it and get work experience. 

Is this your 1st time out of the US?
No. I have been to Ecuador to help with an orphanage and Mexico to visit family and vacation. But I want to go everywhere. 

Do you speak any other language?
Yes. I speak French fluently. I think it’s easier learning Spanish, knowing French. But I also grew up hearing a lot of Spanish because I’m Mexican. So it helped having heard the words before. My parents don’t speak Spanish so I never actually learned. 

What was your family’s reaction when you told them you were joining?
I have been telling them for like six years I was going to join. So they weren’t surprised. Some weren’t as supportive at first but once they were sure I wasn’t doing this on a whim, they were super supportive and awesome. 

How are you liking Nicaragua? 
I love Nicaragua! I think it’s a lot different than I was expecting. I was expecting mud huts and like no internet, just really underdeveloped. I have been absolutely pleasantly surprised. The people are super hospitable. In general, it’s a super nice culture. 

What had been your top 5 best moments so far here?
1. Learning how to salsa and bachata 2. Going to Nica karaoke (it was freaking amazing with people dancing on tables!) 3. Eating and drinking with other PCVs 4. Celebrating my chikungunya recovery with an entire pizza 5. Getting to know my training town. Just walking down the street and having everyone know who I am and why I’m here. I feel so popular. 

How is it dating a Nicaraguan man? Is there a comparison to dating a man from the states?
I wouldn’t know, this is my first real boyfriend. Umm I would say it’s an adventure. I’ve had to get used to a lot of cultural differences and nonverbal communication styles. For instance, the nose scrunch. At first, I had no idea what he was doing. I would be talking and he would scrunch his nose. I was concerned I smelled but now I know it means he doesn’t understand what I’m saying. Also the lip pointing. He would ask me how I was doing and then to clarify he would point his lips at me. I can’t always understand what he’s saying and meeting his family was really stressful for that reason. It has gotten a lot better and I feel like I’ve interacted so much better because of that. They’re also very touchy in general and we had to talk about that. 

Do you have any concerns for living here? 
I think it varies day by day. I’m really excited to be here but then to look forward and get really anxious knowing its two years of my life. I feel really great about everything. 

What are you looking forward to in the next two years?
I’m really excited to find my niche in my community and make a really good group of Nica friends. And learn how to dance! 

What are your plans after PC?
Medical school and live in a tiny house. Have you seen them? It’s going to be so cozy and save the world and cheap!

How do you feel about training in business sector when your work experience is better suited to health?
At first, I was kinda disappointed but then I visited my site and realized how many opportunities I’d have to integrate my health knowledge into my work. So now I’m ok with it… más o menos.

Did you believe in Santa as a kid? Do you still believe in Santa? 
Believed as a kid? Umm yes. Hell yes. I freaking love Christmas and I start celebrating like in July. I believe in spirited Santa. Like the spirit of giving. My little brother is 7 and he believes right now too. So I always encourage it. 

What do you wish when you blow out your candles on your birthday cake?
Hmmm. I always wish I could fly even though I know that’s not going happen. 

What is one thing you wish you had from the US here?
Body pillow without a doubt! 

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