By Camille and Kaylee
Camille and Kaylee here to refresh you on the adventures of the Carpe Diem Maya group. This week we were happy to return to Xela to continue our language classes at the sister school of Escuela de la Montana, PLQ. The group was paired off and put into homestays with some of the lovely locals that lie around town. On a typical day, we wake up and have breakfast with our families and head over to the school to start our classes at 8. At 10:30, we take a 30 min break to drink tasty tea/coffee and eat lots of delicious sweet pan provided by the school. Afterward, we head back to eat lunch with our families; for lunch is a culturally significant meal for many of the Guatemalan people. After lunch, we have the rest of the afternoon to ourselves or we participate in an activity with the school. Some of the highlights have been:
• An insightful documentary about immigration. Our eyes were opened to the realities of mass immigration within the Americas and what it really means for a family to leave everything they have.
• Yoga class with the ladies. The instructor farted. We COULD NOT stop laughing.
• A harrowing interview with a torture survivor with the Armed Conflict in Guatemala. While it was very hard to listen to, it is important to hear the voice of the people that such tragedy affected.
• A salsa class taught by a local lady, we were nervous but ended up having a great time.
• A group conversation with a former member of the Resistance during the Armed Conflict and how he has since moved on from the event of the war, taken his experiences and has worked with an organization that cultivates awareness to prevent calamity in the future.
• The best part for many- Fuentes Georginas; some steamy hot springs. We were able to relax during the mid-week slump. Most have been sick and/or exhausted so it was a great way to recharge!
On Sunday, we head to Lake Atitlan for 3 days of rest, recovery, and meditation. We have the options to swim, hike, participate in yoga, fish, and destress as a group. While a little melancholy to be leaving Xela and our amazing host families, we speak for everyone when we say that we are excited to see what comes next and whatever else is in store for Carpe Maya 2018!!!
Ethan looking out at the volcano view from the hot springs. (By Madeleine)
Laughing through the freezing cold in the back of a pickup.
At the hot springs!
The authors: Kaylee & Camille.