Friday, November 8, 2013

Thursday November 7th, San Lucas, Guatemala

More for our blogger, Mic Morris and our travelers in San Lucas! 
Our Daily devotion today was Matthew 6 The judgment of nations. This is the scripture where the Son of Man comes in his glory and divides the people according to: Those on his right hand who when I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was in prison and you visited me....and those on his left hand who; when I was hunger your fed me not, when I was thirsty you gave me no drink, when I was in prison you did not visit me. It was an interesting discussion over what this passage met to each of us and what it was calling us to do today and when we return home. To live even for a week with a people in an entirely different in culture and environment and to see the smiles and anticipation on their faces knowing that they will have a school in their community is a humbling experience. In addition to the gift of fruit the community gave us on our arrival, several of the workers from the community have given us wrist bands and oranges. These simple acts of gratitude were completely unexpected.

Breakfast today was eggs and a link sausage which had a slight mint taste. We also always have some melon or fruit and tortillas.

Today we continued setting the minor columns and then laying the rock for the foundation. We mixed mortar, basically sand, lime and cement for setting the stones. We spent most of the afternoon carrying rock for the masons to lay the foundation. It was exhausting work but rewarding. The new members of our group took a tour of 5 of the homes where we set the stove the previous year.. I went to the first home and took some pictures. I am having trouble with downloads so I will not attempt at this time to attach the pictures but I will include them in my expanded journal when I get home.

At 3:00 Candace arranged for us to visit an aquatic and perma culture experimental community which is taking place in a valley aside the San Gregorio community. For those of you who are coming on future trips don't miss it. It is fascinating and and you will be overwhelmed with its natural beauty. It is the site of a former plantation which produced water cress. Water cress is still their major crop. There are 65 families who formerly lived in servitude on the plantation. The Catholic Church in San Lucas where father Greg, benefactor of San Gregorio was the priest, helped the people buy the land which has been parceled out to each family. They form a community which ascribes to the perma couture idea described earlier in my journal and are working to initiate it in this valley. The lower level is basically aquatic with water loving plants besides the water cress like mango and bananas. There are many small pools of fish filled with tilapia. As you move up the sides of the valley they are growing corn and beans and other staples. A the higher elevations, coffee. The families have not moved in yet but they are building small cottages one of which we entered and briefly met. Afterword we were picked up on the road at the bottom of the by Heraldo, the foreman for the masons in his truck. Ted had left the group to go back up to the work site to gather our gear was with him.

This evening we met briefly before dinner to discuss how we would distribute the many articles we brought with us and the gifts we are providing the masons. We had a delicious dinner with a traditional Guatemalan soup which appeared to be have a tomato base but filled with peppers and other local vegetables. We also had a side of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.

After dinner we took a couple of tooc tooc (local taxis) to a lecture by a close friend of Candace's. He is an indigenous Mayan who grew up on one of the plantation. He told us of his early life and the humiliating experience of being marginalized by the wealthy land owners. He met father Greg who invited him to move to San Lucas where he became involved with and working on domestic water projects. He worked alongside an Engineer from the States, a Cornell graduate, and be eventually became an engineer himself. He has children and grandchildren but his wife died seven years ago . He told us how he was trying to preserve much of the Mayan culture but his primary objective was to work for peace. I really enjoyed meeting this man and hearing his story.

Tomorrow will be our last day of work and we will have a celebration after our work day. We will head for Antigua on Saturday and return on Sunday.
-Mic Morris

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