Through The Eyes and Mind of Taylor
Moments later, we Heard, "Water - imagine yourself immersed in esta element, eyes closed, focus on your thoughts and the world around you."
Then, "Air -. Keep your eyes closed, focus on your thoughts and the space around you" The same phrase was lastly Repeated using the spanish word for 'land' Which happens to be escaping me at this moment. The voice That Said The initial word in spanish Belonged to our tour guide, Gregory, a Mayan from the area who I will talk further acerca in a moment, and the translator, our wonderful host and leader of Transformational Journeys, Candace.
This moment our group experienced today on top of a mountain San Lucas Toliman roughly That I just shared with you was to me, a powerful one. Focusing on my connection to the environment was really centering and peaceful to me. I want to back track though About an hour before to that. at that time we Learned About our location and what it meant to the people of San Lucas Toliman. To put it simply We were in the center of two major sources of trade for the town we are in and Its . That market We had the chance to visit today Walking through market you see a variety of things: a wide selection of clothes, toys, and some candy. Also, the two main sources of food: crops, and meat (seafood Namely for the purpose of esta discussion).
Imagine That we are located on a line. On the right of That line is mountains, and on Those mountains grow a wide variety of plants and vegetables. On the left On That line is an ocean, Specifically the Pacific Ocean. This ocean Provides the . seafood,: such as shrimp and fish . Now Think About whats in the middle . People . That's Where we are, the middle On three days a week, one of them Being today to Sunday. - there is a market As you can imagine , That market draws from Both Sides of the line. This is the basis of what I want to talk about.
I have a rough understanding of the way some of the plantations That feed esta market work, as well as the way That They probably should work. There are many different sides and parts to this story, but let me repeat, this is my understanding ROUGH .
I started to learn about the MOST from Gregorio productive, healthy, and efficient way to produce crops. The method stemmed from a Mayan proverb called The Three Sisters . The lesson of this story in short Is That we are stronger and more successful When we work together with others. This can be applied to community, family, and In This Case, plants. With the help of Candace's translation, we Learned From Gregorio About how the corn Helps the "bean" or "beans" by giving it support, something . to grow on, in return the beans give nitrogen to the soil grow the corn That Helps In This situation there is one more role, or "sister" if you may -. the squash Through a multitude of ways, the squash Helps the soil Retain moisture making a more solid base for the other crops. In return, the squash Receives nitrogen rich nutrients from the soil. This is the rough concept behind the healthy, productive, and environmental way of growing crops.
Obviously there are other opposing and different ways people go about growing That Their crops. I want to talk about the way That a lot of plantation owners go about making their profit. Key word, profit. Because That Is Their main goal. Not the health of the environment, not the health of the people eating Their goods, and Certainly not the health and well being of the People that work from them on Their large plantations. The plantation owners can be traced way back into history and the plantations Themselves Have Been passed down generation to generation. all with the same goal, making a profit.
The Way They go about this is what They think is best and will yield the MOST crops. This is Where it is Important to remember the lesson of the three sisters legend Certainly Because the plantation owners did not. Amongst the many mistakes That They make is planting the same crop and only in A Certain That crop area, and throwing down a large amount of mulch That can only do so much without soil. This causes problems, Most obvious, run off That causes pollution of the local water sources.
Another injustice That the plantation owners employ That system is to be called can share cropping. This That Involves the locals eat to work on the plantation and end up not Being Able to leave Their Because of how pay works. For the sake of briefness (and your attention) I will move on to what I'm hoping are the questions you are thinking as well.
Why are the plantation owners running things the way They Do? The question is more complicated than Stated, the answer probably not easy, and the solution most likely to non-existent At this point in time. These are the questions I would ask as we Candace Walked THROUGHOUT the mountains.
She has-been searching for the answer for the whole time she has-been in Guatemala Said Something along These lines, "I 've been searching for That same solution myself the whole time I' ve been here." Probably sensing my sadness and my thoughts of, "Then is it even possible? A better, non corrupt Guatemala. " She Said something like this, "But what I can tell you, Is That in the time I have Been Here, I have seen change for the better. Dirt Became cobblestone roads. Became cobblestone paved roads. Corn Became tin houses, and tin Became cement. "
These are the examples she gave me about the improvement she has seen in Guatemala. Improvements That mean the world to the people experiencing them. This gave me hope. Hope and optimism for a better future.
While the solution Might Be far and difficult, I have hope and faith That there is a large positive energy in this world That will help turn things around.
I do not want you to think That I have a negative view on Guatemala, Because I really do not. The people of Guatemala InteractED With That I have so far are the very prideful, welcoming, and hardworking people. It is for them That I voice These Concerns That I have. To share why it is Important to do mission trips like this and to, in general help others in need. Please do not take These Words to blow against the people, Because It's not. I thoroughly enjoy Working with this community and immersing myself in Their culture. I Strongly Believe That I Have Learned and received more from them than They Have of us. It is a true gift to have this opportunity and I intend to take full advantage of it. It is my hope That after reading this, you ask yourself These same questions and even more.