Friday, September 7, 2007


¡Púchica! Wow! I am finally here in Guatemala, the land of eternal spring! I think that this country might be a hidden treasure of the world! It is beautiful, the land and the people, everything! I arrived in Guatemala City on August 29th just in time for the mid-afternoon rains, something that occurs everyday here May thru October. We hopped on a school bus and made our way to Santa Lucia Milpas Altas, a small community about 20 miles from the capital but about a 45 minute bus ride away. My group and I then began our three day orientation to Peace Corps Guatemala. The orientation is pretty much an overload of information that you will not remember for the life of you but should. We had language test (AHHH), thankfully I was placed in intermediate which means I am where I should be by the end but also means I have to advance two levels by the end of the three months! After the three day orientation we beginning our training.

PC Guatemala has a new kind of training which is called community based training, which means that we are divided into ten communities around Santa Lucia based on our tech program and our language ability. I am part of the Agriculture Marketing tech group and I am living in Magdalena Milpas Altas, about a 45 minute walk to the training center in Santa Lucia! They do not call it Milpas Altas for nothing! Milpas Altas means Tall Corn and they are not kidding! The corn stalks have to be at least ten feet high, I am not joking! Magdalena is a community of about 2,000 people, primarily farmers so some kind (my family grows fruits and flowers)! It is situated on the side of a mountain which results in incredible views!

My host family is awesome! It consists of my mama and my papa along with my two sisters (23 and 20) and my brother (17)! In addition to them my papa’s mother and my mama’s father live here, too! So in all there are eight of us! My first day here, which was Saturday, September 1, my mama’s father moved in too. He had a stroke and is now paralyzed on his left side of his body. This came as a shock to the family and the Peace Corps because PCVs have been working with this family in the agriculture sector for about eight years (mainly with the grandfather)! It was a hard adjustment for me and for the family. Such a huge change in the living situation all within hours of each other! I live right in the middle of town so every morning around 4:15 or 4:30 I am woken up by the blaring horn of the bus to take people to work/school in the capital! What can you do, you gotta love it!

Guatemala is everything I expected and more! I expected the most obvious things, the lack of organization, the dirtiness (trash everywhere), homes made from different materials, but what I did not expect is the openness and kindness that everyone shows to one another here! I will walk down the street with another gringa and everyone will say Buenas Dias or Buenas Tardes, it is incredible! The view from my balcony and the street throughout Magdalena provide a view that is indescribable! In the morning the view is clear as can be but by mid afternoon the fog has rolled in creating a mysterious feeling around the mountains!

This has been a really long post so I will not bore you with anymore but I should be posting again soon so keep checking!

1 comment:

Jared said...

Sounds very interesting... We are glad to hear everything is going well.