Living on $5 per day: Guatemala edition

Living on $5 per day: Guatemala edition

In America, sitting on a couch with a snack in your lap, a remote in your hand and Netflix on a screen in front of you has become a norm for just about any time of day. My roommate, Cecelia Heckman, and I found ourselves in this norm a few weeks ago, before embarking on our immersion trip to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. To raise our spirits for our approaching trip, we decided to watch “Living on one dollar” a Netflix documentary about a group of four average men who decided to see what it would be like to live and work as radish farmers while surviving on $1 a day in Guatemala.

The story of the documentary began with a simple research project about how a billion people survive on $1 a day. Then, a few years later, the men went all in with their idea and ended up having their film featured on the homepage banner of Netflix. Since then, over $750,000 has been given to education and microfinance work in the village in which they filmed.

Following the example of Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, the award-winning humanitarians, activists and filmmakers behind the documentary, my roommate and I decided to embark on our own “Living on one dollar” journey during our immersion trip in San Lucas, Guatemala.

On our last day in San Lucas, we hit the streets with 40 quetzales in our hands. This is equivalent to living on $5 a day, which is basically how much most of us spend on a morning Starbucks or Wawa run. In Guatemala, we went out specifically in search of bathroom items, personal care items, clothing, cooking and school items, with the mindset of providing for an average Guatemalan family.

Watch, as we discover what it is like to walk the streets of Guatemala, living on $5 a day or $40 for an entire week.