El Salvador is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture, friendly people, delicious non-vegan cuisine and stunning natural landscapes.

I came to El Salvador with an open heart and mind. I left for San Salvador exactly four weeks after I returned from an amazing trip to Honduras. I only had two expectations of myself: no assumptions and no comparing the two experiences. I wanted to “live every moment”. And surprisingly I did.

El Salvador is a place of contrasts and commonalities: From extreme heat in San Sal to cooler stormy weather in the hills and from the business centre and urban amenities in the capital to the simplistic, authentic and family life in Apaneca, the differences in culture and people couldn’t be any more evident. The stunning natural beauty of the black and brown sand beaches to the tropical forests and wildlife was incomparable.


The commonalities between all of these El Sal experiences included simple things: family, friends, hard work, respect, and a simple life full of smiles and laughter. I love that and will always remember it.

The words that pop into my mind as I write my final journal entry are: gratitude, family, old but young at heart, passion, curiosity, thunder and lightning, love, bugs, dirt, pupusas, snacks (snack lord), mike’s dance, daddy, gramps, agua, hola, smiles, fun, laughter, karaoke, bats, doughnuts, dancing, blisters, compassion, focus, simple life and authenticity.


Habitat gave me the opportunity to discover and explore a country that is both intriguing and friendly. I won’t forget this experience and will always remember my incredible team and the locals we’ve met and worked with along the way.


The trip reminds me of how fortunate we are and to be forever grateful. It also gives me confidence in myself, my accomplishments and my aspirations. I’m excited and have a burning desire to keep this momentum and to change the world, even if just a little bit.

My final life lesson from El Salvador: Life is simple. Life is beautiful. Life is challenging. Life is memorable. Life is exhilarating. Life is happy. Life is forever changing. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest.


Adios and gracias El Salvador. Thank you to Habitat for being part of my journey and to remind me to live in the moment, live with passion and live with purpose.

Check out where GIVEGROWGO will be volunteering in 2016 by clicking here.