July 2012- Guatemala Day 2

I woke up at 6:20am and put on my jeans, the ones with all of the holes. After eating a delicious breakfast at the same restaurant we had had dinner at we made our way down to the lake. Next, we took a boat ride across the lake to the town of San Pedro. San Pedro is known for it’s local artists– we gallery-hopped as we walked up an enormous hill. We finally arrived at a cotton shop where the ladies were demonstrating their dying process.  Their demonstration was interrupted (although quite pleasantly) by a school parade. We all gathered by the doorway to watch. School children were dressed in their uniforms dancing, singing, and staring extra long as they marched past us. We made our way back down the hill, each of us at our own pace. Kayla and I arrived at the dock before most of everybody else. There was an old flooded painting gallery by our boat. It was clear that the water had risen recently causing a substantial retreating coastline. Our next destination for the day was the city of Chichicastenango (more commonly referred to as ChiChi.) ChiChi ended up being quite different from what I had imagined. We were given an hour to shop which proved to be somewhat of a challenge through the pouring rain. Despite the rain the markets stood strong. Local children latched on to us Americans ignoring the hundreds of “No Gracias’s.” As we maneuvered our way through the maze of vendors I couldn’t help but be reminded of the markets in Bangkok. We left ChiChi and started our drive to the village. We drove for two hours on the highway leading up the mountain before turning off onto a rocky dirt road. This took us past three villages before arriving at the village of Chuiqatama. As I first passed these villages my mind flashed to my IB Geography book– the pictures of shanty towns in less economically developed countries. I remember being ashamed that these pictures were the first thing that came to mind. Up until this point I had been so removed and distanced from this kind of living. At risk of sounding very cliche, at that point I knew that this trip was going to have a lasting impact on me.

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