No, we’re not talking about the title of a new storybook for CORP. We’re talking about the many adventures of siblings Juan and Maria Tacaxoy! They traveled all the way from Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala to the United States to speak at Fall Fiesta, and have had quite the whirlwind tour of the US in the weeks leading up to the big event.

They have absolutely L-O-V-E-D spending time with their various host families, and have been able to experience so many new things during their stay.

Be sure to join us for Fall Fiesta on October 18th to hear from Juan and Maria yourself! They can’t wait to see you.

Without further ado, we present the adventures of Juan and Maria:

Juan and Maria flew to Aspen, CO to speak to multiple Rotary clubs about how they can help students in Guatemala. Maria was surprised by a cocktail hour before one big event, saying, “I thought this sort of thing only happened in movies!” In their free time, they got to enjoy the gorgeous Aspen landscape by hiking and getting to see the leaves changes colors for the very first time in their lives!


Not a bad view…


Hiking with Holly End, CoEd’s development director, and Tom Clark, an Aspen Rotarian and incredibly gracious host!

Next, Juan and Maria headed back to Cincinnati to spend some quality time with their dear friends Joe and Rebecca Berninger. This was the first time in ten years that Rebecca and Maria had seen each other. Things have certainly come full circle from that fateful day so many years ago when Rebecca and Maria met for the first time and Maria’s life was changed by the generosity of a stranger. They packed in a lot of activities, including trips to the Cincinnati Zoo, the Indy Children’s Museum, Fountain Square, and Oktoberfest!


Part of the family after a few short days!


Cheezin’ with the Berninger family in Washington Park


Maria trying her hand at baseball during Oktoberfest. She’s a natural!

Juan and Maria also got to spend time in Cincinnati with the Berlon family. Juan was so excited to attend a high school soccer game after not having played himself for months! Juan and Maria had several firsts with the Berlons, including the first time ordering off a restaurant menu, the first time trying their hands at tie dying (resulting in some very colorful hands for a few days…), and a trip to the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Finneytown soccer

Enjoying a high school soccer match with Mama Berlon!

Other new experiences for Juan and Maria during their time here in the US include: camping for the first time (and trying s’mores!), visiting the Newport Aquarium, flying in a plane for the first time, and seeing Lake Erie!

They have certainly been keeping busy; Juan said that they’ve done so much that they already know more cities here in the US than they do in their own country!

Juan and Maria are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to experience all of this, and to meet so many wonderful and generous people. Thank you to everyone who has helped make their time here so special. They are also excited to have the chance to tell the people they’ve met how they can help more students in Guatemala have a better life and brighter future. It truly is a perfect match.

Can’t bear the thought of  missing the chance to meet Juan and Maria before they head back to Guate? Buy your Fall Fiesta ticket today! The RSVP deadline is October 8th, so purchase your tickets before the price goes up!