Lemonade International Blog

Would You Rather…

This week while hanging out in the Lemonade House with the awesome group visiting from Chapel Pointe in Hudsonville, Michigan, we played a game called “Would You Rather…?” The premise of the game is to decide what you would do in completely random situations that would likely never happen. An interesting question came about…

“Would you rather insert known facts or emotions into someone’s thoughts?”


At first, I thought how it would be interesting to insert facts. Think of how interesting conversations could be with known facts flying around, everyone knowing a little bit of truth. Then, after thinking for a few minutes, I decided on the emotions. Here’s why…

You can tell people who are coming to Guatemala everything there is to know about Guatemala City and La Limonada. You can explain the various family situations, the housing situations in the ghetto, how the schools work, and what it’s like to walk through the streets. You can explain the smells of a river full of garbage or of tortillas being cooked in someone’s house. You can explain what a child looks like who has been neglected, underfed, or who has lost a parent to gang violence. You can try to express the joy on a child’s face when he is getting a much needed hug, or laughing with his friends. These are things that you can try to express, but may never be able to get across to someone, no matter how many pictures you take or stories you tell.

You can’t grasp the concept of not having enough to eat until you walk into a home with plastic stools, empty plates, no refrigerator, and nothing cooking in the kitchen. Walking into this home with a month’s worth of beans, rice, salt, oil, and maize for a family who can’t afford it; I couldn’t possibly explain what relief feels like. You may never be able to comprehend poverty until you walk into a home with dirt floors and two beds for seven people. And until you have a dozen children rushing to hug you on the street on your way to work or see the toothless smile of a man saying “buenos dias, Dios te bendiga” (good morning, God bless you), you can’t completely understand the love that comes from this amazing community.

I admit to being a very emotional person. If you cry in my company, you will never cry alone. There have been many days when working in La Limonada that I wished that I was less emotional. I wanted to feel less pain for the children whose father was killed last week. I didn’t want to worry so much about the boy who was caught in a cross-fire gun shooting while playing in the street in front of his house. I don’t want to always think about my friends and co-workers who spend every night in this community with the violence that occurs there. But I do.

I choose emotions over facts. I’ve chosen to give my life and heart over to these emotions day-in and day-out, as have many other amazing people who live, work, and visit La Limonada. There may not always be good days, but there are not always bad days… I can honestly say that I have been affected by every person that I have met in this unbelievable community, and am so grateful to have them all in my heart.

-Written by Kerry Smith- English Teacher, Escuelita Limon

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