Wednesday, June 11, 2014

San Juan Comalapa

Class has been going pretty well this week.  Because I now understand the format, I am able to get a lot more out of it.  One of the teachers has been extremely helpful to me, always explaining what’s going on in class more in-depth during the breakout sessions.  I basically feel like my brain wants to vomit all the information out because it has learned so much in the past few days. 

Another student joined our class this week, and she’s also living with Ixim.  Olanda is her name.  She is originally from El Salvador, but moved to Guatemala city a few years ago to work with some women’s health programming.  Most of the work from her organization is done in a town where Kaqchikel is the most-used language, so it is very beneficial to her to learn it.  Working through translators just isn’t the same.

Because she has a car, she decided to visit the town of Comalapa, the home of 2 of our professors.  Louisa and I had the privilege of tagging along.  The drive out there was stunning, with mountains and volcanoes on all sides.  It is a different feel from the mountains in Peru; it is closer to a cloud forest because of the lower altitude.  The town itself was also very nice.  Ixkaj (I don’t recall her normal, Spanish name) gave us a guided tour.  We got to check out a lot of the little shops with paintings and hand-woven garments.  There were also some nice churches, etc.  At one point a guy came up to us and asked if we spoke English, which is not uncommon, but he had no accent!  I don’t think that ever happened to me in Peru…  I was so shocked to find someone who spoke English so well in this little Mayan town.  Below are some pictures of our time there:

Typical street in Comalapa



Louisa, Ixkaj, and I in front of one of the main churches


Ancient Mayan Relic in the main square with Churches in the background 

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