Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
The Session that knew how to relax, go with the flow, and laugh it off
This session was of course my favorite because I was their mentor/director. We went through a series of challenges, losing our director, losing a student at the beginning of the program, and a student who lost a relative as well. Despite all the changes and the heavy layer of ice that the group had to chip off in the first few days before fully engaging with one another, this group came to Guatemala to finish a mural, learn from a new culture, visit new towns, and fully relax at home base with movie marathons. They loved banana bread, eating chocolate, and laughing out loud. They grew nervous when having to translate, play an intense game of monopoly, and when climbing the steep staircases of Iximche. This was a group that knew how to hold space for each other and support one another through the changes. After all our up hills, at the end of the session we sat in the living room reminiscing on all the unexpected events that happened to us as a collective. We sat there laughing at all the changes that fell upon us at the beginning of the session and the thoughts we had as we went along with the flow. We laughed out loud because we could all see that we grew and came a long way as a group and developed lasting friendships.
Session 4 finished the mural at service in the middle of 3 different school assemblies, including a cultural beauty pageant at the school. We sealed the mural with a water-protecting coat and stood back to admire a mural that began with 300+ drawings from students at Pacajal to a 56ft wall dedicated to water conservation.
Summer Blog Posts
Everybody has arrived!!
Photos from first day of service:
Date Written 8/4/16
Media Team: Sophia, Kat, & Emily
We arrived at the airport and we were picked up by Joe and Nayo. We then waited at a cafe for the rest of the group to arrive. After introducing ourselves, we had our last “American” meal before we drove to a hotel in Antigua for the night. Since we had some time before dinner, we were able to explore around the streets of Antigua. Joe took us to a vegan restaurant for dinner and the food was absolutely fantastic!
Day 2 of our trip in Guatemala started off with us waking up early in the morning and having breakfast before heading out on a four hour drive to our home base in Xela. Although the ride was long and tiring, we were able to enjoy the views throughout the car ride. There is definitely a significant difference between Xela and Antigua as Antigua is more of a tourist destination. Our home base in Xela is very comforting and the three women who cook for us everyday are extremely caring.
This was the day that our dear leader and friend, Joe had to leave us to go back to the States due to a family emergency. Nonetheless, Ana, who is one of our other mentor, filled his spot and we all connected with each other very well.
In the morning, we visited the local school where we are doing community service and we were introduced to the mural that has to be finished by the end of our program. We were also able to interact with the 600 children at the school! They’re such happy, playful children to be around with. Being around them makes us feel so appreciative of the little things in life.
Our afternoon excursion consisted of a lot of chocolate tasting, which was absolutely a treat for us at the end of a tiring day. After the chocolate tasting session, we took a trip to Walmart to get any necessary items we would need for the rest of our trip. We also bonded after breaking a pinata open and eating an Orea birthday cake because it was our International Director’s birthday.
In the morning, we visited the school and worked on the mural project that had been started by other GLA students this summer. The afternoon involved us visiting a music academy to learn about the different marimba techniques and hear a performance of marimba songs and styles. We also got the chance to play the marimba ourselves
We then headed back to home base for a cooking demonstration where we learned how to make tamales from the ladies at our home base. The tamales were served as part of dinner that night before going to Cafe RED. At Cafe RED that afternoon, we learned about the importance of community connection and the preservation of indigenous Mayan identity. Tomorrow we will visit the town of San Andres Xecul. Stay tuned!
Hammocks at Antigua
Veggie Vegan Meals in Antigua
The making of Corn Tortillas
Cacao pods and beans for chocolate
Making Corn Tamales with Chipilin at home base.