"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity."
- John F Kennedy, United States President
Take three minutes to take a quick look at the fund raising site for our mission!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Love and cross-country hugs,
It was a such a highly-charged and zany place, flowing with a barely harmonized pace and chaotic rhythm that it seemed really to fall to pieces any minute.
Most of the buildings seemed as quick to crumble as everything else.
We stopped in the capital for a few hours, exploring parts of downtown and grabbing local eats.
The self-servedness of the individual adds to the odd, semi-functional system of the city.
I wanted to explore more, and I imagine this is what many Asian cities will be like, especially India.
I guess I'll have to stave my fix and wait for Mumbai!
In the meantime, a cheap hostel can also come with perks. One of these advantages took the form of an isolated roof terrace, which granted a quiet, cozy sit-down and lovely view of the techo-topped town with white-washed steeples on each home, back dropped by the green mountains beyond.
While up there, we wound up having a few unexpected lessons on communication, something that I thought I had a certain amount of skill in. Turns out, people are different, how we think and express ourselves is different. Wait, WHAT?!?!? "No way," you say????????
Anyway, we spent time working out priorities and giving each other (and ourselves) the chance to be heard and to listen to what is important for the other, for ourselves, and for the expedition. It was uncomfortable, at times, to work out kinks and sacrifice your dignity for mutual understanding, but I think we were able to both find opportunities to learn and grow and be a little better for each other.
There were definitely a few notables to be witnessed while we were "callejonieno." Buildings are held to a certain code to outline how they appear, helping to preserve the World Heritage standards and keep some history intact.
The walls were almost always painted in bright, bold colors. I happened upon a wall where the chipped layers exposed the various chromatic preferences of owners past.
The city seems determined to be admired.
The three children were so insightful and wise, providing astute and well-rounded responses to questions about life and purpose and priorities. Living in a town so entrenched in tourism, steeping in international visitors, has given them opportunities to expand their worldviews, and to cultivate perspective and clarity. Where most families in Central America we met with had dreams that rarely left their geographic region, these kids had dreams of the world, in art and philanthropy. Their ideologies on respect and kindness and gratitude were inspiring.
Once we left Antigua, we started making our way to the next country, Belize, and decided it was worthwhile to explore a few other sites on our way out to deepen our appreciation for Guatemalan culture and ecology.
We rode in a truck bed through the towns of several indigenous people, many beautifully clothed and not speaking Spanish or English. We learned that many locals had recently rallied together to oust the governmental hold on Semuc Champey's as a park, feeling entitled to manage things on their own. They did so, according to their values and seeing proceeds from the site fall into the hands of the people, rather than the government.
The crew is run by the patriarch, a 72 year-old legend who still outperforms his younger proteges.
It can be so frightfully difficult, at times, for so many reasons. Even so, troubles, challenges, and pains aside, we plan to make it worthwhile for more than just ourselves.
There is more to see than a post has room for!
Click the links and take a gander at our internal gallery or Instagram account!
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