Community of One
Evan Barr and Gabriela de Leon in Guatemala City
2018 Honorable Mention:
Reina Wanling, Chulanga Perera, Nils Valentin, and Lilo Yu in Tokyo
The InterNations platform is comprised of a wide variety of events and activities designed for members to meet up in person and get to know their community better offline. Groups provide an opportunity for members to attend specific-interest activities within a small core group, while the official monthly event is a great place for members from all backgrounds to meet and connect in a larger setting.
With so many activities and events taking place, there are many moving pieces in order to ensure that the overall schedule aligns properly, and often Ambassadors and Consuls of a particular community will join forces in order to build up their network even more. Ambassadors and Consuls are not required to work together as their interests are slightly different, and that is what makes this particular category so exceptional!
When determining our top nominees for 2018’s Community of One Award, the Global Awards jury identified communities where both Consuls and Ambassadors worked together for the common goal of enriching and developing the community. We chose Consuls and Ambassadors who coordinate dates in the calendar, establish contact through informal gatherings with one another, and who make a conscious effort to support one another by attending community-wide activities and events.
Why They Won
This year’s collective winner was the Guatemala City Community. One of our jury members describes their win: “Guatemala City was a rather small community not long ago. But then Evan and Gabriela came on board and changed everything. They invited new members to join, and they especially started looking for active members to take on the role as Consuls. Within only a couple of months, we had a very active community life with many groups and regular activities. Everyone works closely together, and Consuls and Ambassadors equally contribute to the success of InterNations in Guatemala City. They are a wonderful community of one!”
Another member of the jury added further praise:
“Congratulations to the Guatemala City Consuls for your "one for all and all for one" attitude, the smooth way you are managing the community, and for your passion and commitment towards hosting fun and welcoming activities for our expats. The Global Awards jury wants to acknowledge your constant and giving contribution and we appreciate you embodying our values and mission around the world. Samuel, Marison, Eva, Xavier, Jose Luis, Dominik, Marie and Pablo... thanks millions!”
Pablo Blanco (Sports Consul), Xavi Canda (Dinner Consul), Evan Barr (Ambassador), Marisol Reina (Art & Culture Consul), Dominik Kramer (Business & Finance Consul), Gabriela de Leon (Ambassador)
How do you all coordinate dates when there are so many activities and events each month?
InterNations Guatemala City: First, we have a chat group with all Consuls and Ambassadors for our community. We also meet every two months to discuss ideas on how we can improve the InterNations experience, discuss possible venues for different groups, and plan some activities together.
For example, we arranged an agreement with a specific venue to host Business & Finance Group presentations as well as our Art Group activities. Additionally, we agreed that breakfasts and basketball activities would take place alternately on Sundays, dinners would be on the 1st and/or 3rd Friday night of every month, while the 2nd Friday night would be reserved for a game night, and potential official events could take place on the last Friday of the month. The last Tuesday of the month would be blocked for a reading..
Do you have any advice for other Ambassadors and Consuls hoping to improve overall communication and collaboration within their own community?
InterNations Guatemala City: Coordinate constantly and respect other Consuls’ independence. Ambassadors and Consuls who are aware of and attend other group activities are more likely to invite their group members to join as well. This inspires a more interconnected and social community in general. It also makes Consuls better at introducing members to other members at the official events.
Ambassadors, how do you integrate the Consuls into the official events?
InterNations Guatemala City: We usually ask Consuls to help at the entrance and to take pictures so that the Ambassadors can be in charge of meeting and introducing new members to existing ones. Consuls also help by introducing different members to other members in their group and actively inviting new members to join their official group chat.
Congratulations to the Guatemala City Community for winning this year’s Community of One.
We would also like to recognize the Community of One honorable mention for the second year in a row, Reina Wanling, Chulanga Perera, Nils Valentin, and Lilo Yu in Tokyo. Your team continues to shine, offering a collaborative and supportive spirit with the fellow Ambassadors and Consuls in your communities!
About the Winners:
Evan Barr joined the Ambassador team in December 2017. He was born in Arizona and moved to Guatemala in 2017. He enjoys the country and plans to stay for a significant time. As an Ambassador, he brought the community to the next level by growing the events, offering diverse formats, and listening to members’ needs.
Gabriela de Leon grew up in Guatemala, went to an international school and studied for her master’s abroad. Living abroad was one of the most important life-changing experiences. It made her realize that she enjoys getting to know different cultures, politics, cuisine, drinks, etc. Back in Guatemala, she wanted to help foreigners in her home country and decided to become an InterNations Ambassador. She joined the team in November 2017 and has had a very positive impact on the community development since then.