We are alive and well, and FINALLY in Guatemala!
The day day started out early catching a 7:10am shuttle back to the airport for a 10:30am direct flight. The plane ride was a little bumpy… literally because of turbulance… but all was well because we got to watch the new Star Wars movie during the flight. And we get sandwiches! Overall, pretty sweet ride.
We arrived in Guatemala City, Guatemala, around 12:30pm their time, and that’s only where the fun had just begun.
First, we took an insane bus ride to Antiqua up a winding, busy, narrow mountain side – motion sickness was definitely present for most of us.
Next, we ate a fresh lunch at a place called “Café Sky”. The food was BEYOND amazing, to say the least! All of it was freah from local farmers, and prepared in a safe way for our adapting American stomachs. Austyn, as well as a handful of the others, had quesadillas… “it was so incredibly fresh! I can’t ever go back to Taco Bell!” Nicole and Molly shared the most decked out nacho’s we have ever seen. And the salads were so fresh it’s almost as if the ingredients were picked right then – acovados have never tasted this good.
After that we tried to exchange our money at the banks in Antiqua… but because it’s Holy Week, and more importantly Psalms Sunday, nothing was open past 3:00pm, so we could not exchange our money. However, we did get time to scavenge the market! While in Antiqua, we were able to witness the traditional “carpet making” (photo attached below) and a ceremonial parade prosessional – the parade floats, for lack of a better term, are carried on the shoulders of men. This tradition is passed down through family generations, and is incredibly sacred. Followed by a full band, it was wonderful to get a snapshot at the culture as we did today.
Finally, our night ended with dinner with a local co-op farmers and his family. Timoteo, the father of the farmer family, is a coffee farmer who has been working with coffee growing for 26 years. He has been a part of the co-op here for 11 years. However, Timoteo has been working on a farm with his family all of his life – after he finished fourth grade, his family could no longer afford to send him to school, so he helped on the farm. Timoteo has lived his whole life working so that we could afford for his children (5) to go to school. One daugther is a school teacher, another daughter is an accountant, his only son is a carpenter and coffee grower, and he did not talk about his other children. The way a family functions here is completely different than how it is back home… culture sure has shocked us.
Tomorrow, we will spend all day hiking, picking, and processing coffee with another local co-op farmer (who just happens to be Timoteo’s brother!).
Thanks for checking in with us!
ASB Guatemala 🙂
*sorry, could not upload all of the photos for tonight for some reason – we will try again tomorrow for this post.