Posts Tagged ‘Heritage Tour’

Margaret Amara on Returning to Her Daughter’s Birth Country

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Want to learn more about heritage travel? Join the webinar!


Last month, you read about Kelsey Amara’s travels back to Guatemala, the country of her birth. She made her first return trip with her parents Margaret and Mark in 2004 and her second as a solo journey in 2017. The Amaras were one of the first adoptive families to travel with Cooperative for Education, but there have been many more in the meantime. And now there’s a specific experience – the Heritage Tour – for families connected to Guatemala through adoption.

Some things never change:

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Kelsey bonding with CoEd staff in 2004…

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…and in 2017!

Below, check out Margaret’s perspective on returning to Guatemala!


Margaret Amara’s family journey with Guatemala started many years ago, but she always knew it would include returning to Guatemala. “When we chose the path of international adoption, we always knew we would someday take our daughter to visit her birth country,” says Margaret. The Amaras did their research, had many conversations as a family, and decided to return with their daughter, Kelsey, in 2004. “Our trip to Guatemala, when our daughter was 16, was the right age for her.” And traveling with Cooperative for Education was the right choice too because the tour was “very organized, comfortable, safe, and full of beautiful Guatemalan cultural experiences.”

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Kelsey Amara on Returning to Guatemala

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Want to learn more about heritage travel? Join the webinar!


“How would I feel when, as an adult, I walked through that door?” This is the question that wouldn’t leave Kelsey Amara’s mind as she prepared to travel back to Guatemala, the country where she was born, on Cooperative for Education’s 2017 Heritage Tour.

“As an adoptee, going back to what might have been home to see the “what ifs” up close and personal filled me with nervous anticipation.”

Kelsey made her first return trip to Guatemala with her parents when she was 16 years old, travelling with Cooperative for Education (CoEd) on that occasion too. Both experiences were life-changing in their own way. (more…)

Mental Health Therapist Tisha Way Gaynor on Heritage Trips

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Here at Cooperative for Education (CoEd), we believe in connecting people across countries. We believe that encountering the diversity of humanity changes us for the better. It’s a big part of the reason we invite you to visit Guatemala on our project tours each year. The experience of being welcomed, asking questions, grasping hands, and laughing with the students, teachers, and family members you support is one that changes you deeply.

Last year, we offered our inaugural Heritage Tour as a way for individuals and families connected to Guatemala through adoption to reconnect to the country. Mental health therapist Tisha Way Gaynor joined us as an on-tour resource for those who wanted to talk through and process their experiences on the trip.

adoption heritage birth country travel Guatemala

From noon to 1pm (Eastern) on March 14th, Tisha will host a webinar for adoptive families who are interested in making heritage trips (to any country, not just Guatemala!). In anticipation, we’ve asked her to share some of her knowledge and experience about heritage trips here on the blog.

adoption heritage birth country travel Guatemala

adoption birth country heritage travel Guatemala

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