Glimpse of Guatemala!

The Village Experience trip to Guatemala has been quite the adventure!
We arrived to Guatemala and had a wonderful walking tour of Antigua exploring the ancient cathedrals, convents, government buildings, and museums. There is nothing like going back in time and strolling along the cobblestone streets and sipping coffee in a quaint cafe.

The Arch in Antigua

We then departed from our knowledgeable and lovable guide, Abraham, and went to Sky Cafe for lunch with the most amazing views of San Francisco Cathedral and the three surrounding volcanoes. After lunch, we went in search of fair trade products and hit the jackpot! Look for adorable ornaments, great cutting boards made from indigenous trees, beaded earrings, bracelets, and necklaces upon our return.
Our welcome dinner in the evening gave volunteers the opportunity to try out typical Guatemala food – beans, rice, plantains, guacamole, chile relleno, and pupusa!

The next two days were spent working alongside Nina from Vamos Adelante. We purchased much needed food and hiked deep into the Guatemalan jungle to deliver it to members of the elderly assistance program. We met Dona Maria and watched as she made tortillas. We talked with a 96 year old couple and learned of their struggles during the rainy season. We reunited with Don Rosindo from 4 years ago and were so happy to see how much he has improved. We ate lunch at a small library and met with kids as they braved the rainfall just to attend the after school program offered.

Nina & Sarah distributing foodThe following day we spent in Santa Rosa counting vitamins at the medical clinic, doing educational activities with the kids, and then playing like crazy until we popped all the balls! Clara from Vamos Adelante prepared us a wonderful lunch and we handed over more Spanish books, supplies, and the much needed weight scales they had requested for the clinic.

In the afternoon, we drove to Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan and settled in to our new home. The next morning, we visited a women’s cooperative in Panajachel and learned about their work with over 300 women from surrounding villages. Beautiful hand dyed scarves, great handbags, coffee, and chocolates were on display.

We enjoyed a great lunch and then went out to the shores of the lake to witness the intensity of the storm – docks were under water, mud was gushing from the mountains, disaster crews were working hard to control the situation. Up above us, high in the mountains…the waterfalls were raging. This unexpected storm has taken Guatemala by surprise and has trapped many locals in their villages and many tourists at their hotels. The rain is expected to subside by Saturday – we’re hoping it stops today, but you can’t control Mother Nature. That just means more shopping!! Stay tuned for more details!!!