We are very excited to welcome our new intern, Brandon Rojano, to the A-team. He is working on his media production degree at the University of Houston, and has volunteered about 6 weeks of his summer to help us with video update stories in Guatemala. We would like to give him this chance to introduce himself…and we invite you to keep checking the blog for his updates!
The road that led me to Guatemala in the first place is very long, and if I tried to explain it all in one post you would probably get bored and open YouTube. As such I’ll try to be brief. I am volunteering for Athentikos. I have lived and spent time with both Shorty and Tita. Both of these amazing people work in hard places, bringing hope and love to those who Guatemala has deemed untouchable and left forgotten. Reparando means repairing in Spanish, and that’s exactly what Shorty and Tita are doing. They are working to repair their country, which has been scared and broken. I am especially close with Shorty and have lived with him on several occasions. Walking the same streets as him, journeyed to prisons, and learning so much about what it means to truly sacrifice and give all that you have for those around you.
During one of my stays with Shorty, I learned about Athentikos. I learned about Reparando and about the stories that Scott and Amelia have a passion for telling. They seek to give voice to people with none, and they, like me, have a passion and love for the people of Guatemala. This drew me to Athentikos, because as a aspiring filmmaker this almost exactly matched my philosophy of film. I want the things I create to have meaning, to tell stories of the things that you see everyday. I think film, more than another media has the power to create fantastic worlds and stories. Even though many of the films released are “popcorn” movies, movies can still evoke powerful emotions and reactions. So after a couple of years I contacted them expressing my interest to work with them. Then boom, here I am.
This time around I’ll be working to create a series of short videos updates focused on what has happened in the lives of the central characters in Reparando since its release, their triumphs and struggles, as well as raise awareness and support for their ministries. At the beginning of my stay here in Guatemala, I also helped the Athentikos film crew with the production of the new documentary Becoming Fools. It is tiring work and I’m constantly busy, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s been great to be back, after all the times I’ve been down here this is my second home, and the people here are my family. Every time I come down here it is physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining, but it is good to go to bed after all long day of work and sleep well. I still have a long way to go and a busy schedule ahead of me but the time will go by fast, too fast usually. When I get back to Houston there is a lot of uncertainty ahead of me, but I’ve gotten used to that feeling a long time ago. That’s why I decided to call this blog Setting Sail. During the time I spend here and afterwards I see it as me setting sail into a vast sea, with adventure and excitement awaiting me on my journey.
There’s probably more I could write but I can’t think of it at the moment. I look forward to the many stories that are lying in wait here, and hope to share them with you soon.
Goodbye For Now