Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 8th and 9th 2017

On Wednesday, we went to work on the stoves around our usual time. It was a little hot that day but we were really happy to keep working on the stoves. Our masons trusted us to work all by ourselves which was really exciting. The final round of stoves will be finished on Friday as we will be taking a break on Thursday.
After lunch, Liliane and her mom were teaching Dasia and me how to crochet, I don't know how we did but they were laughing so much, it was so much fun. It is so easy to make connections with people and I notice we don't do that back home. So many people have been nice to us here and offered to show us something, educated us. I have to say every time that happened, it had me thinking if this type of relationship would be possible with others back in the states.
Probably not, people don't make time for the little things. 
At one of the sites, a very old lady saw Eric digging up some dirt for the stove and goes right next to him and lends a hand. But, that is Guatemala. I will say it again, there is much happiness in this small community.  
After work, we got to experience some of the ice cream in San Juan with our masons. It was a great treat after a really hot day. Everyone is excited for tomorrows market day. we are waking up very early and heading to Chichi. Candace has an excursion day planned for us so we can buy some gifts for family and friends. Looking forward to it.  
It is Thursday and we headed to the market in Chichicastenango about 7am. It was crazy! People don't stop hassling you to buy their product. Bumping through a large crowd of people in a tight hot space gets exhausting. It's hard to shun the people selling stuff off you because they trail right on your heels. Everything is beautiful though because it's all mostly hand made products. The culture and people here are amazing. I think we all can say we've really appreciated the hospitality we've received. We have had a busy day filled with shopping, marshmallows, a movie about global poverty and a short discussion. 
It was a full day. We are all exhausted but looking forward to kayaking at 6am in the morning. 
Good night...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 7th 2017

March 7th was an emotional day for me. After a long day at work, we met with 4 men from San Lucas to learn about their immigration experiences. We knew two men from working in the community in the last few days but the others were new speakers. They all had different perspectives and shared their unfulfilled American dreams with us.
I wish I could put up each person’s picture so you could understand they are people, just like you and me trying to feed their families, build homes, and looking for a better life. They crossed the river illegally when there were left with no option. The first speaker told us, He had to pay a coyote $ 7500 (50,000 quetzals) to try and get to his dream. 
He told us, “I made it but I got captured.”
They all shared with us the conditions inside the detention centers, the treatment they received and how many days they stayed in jail before deportation. It was inhumane. They were left freezing in cold rooms. They were chained not only going to the jail but also going back to their countries on the planes. “It is business” says one policeman delivering them to the plane that would take them back home. They asked why? At this point I wanted to share a story with them but I couldn’t and I felt bad. As an immigrant, I totally understand the process it takes or I should say I understand my path. It is long and from my knowledge it is never easy. I related more to someone who is in need of medical treatment right now and because of his past illegal crossing has been denied a visa for now. He asked us, you tell us to do everything the right way and when we do it we get denied the entry. Porque? I really felt sad for him and I hope the country that gave me citizenship will give him access to medical treatment. Prayers for that family, there is always hope. As for our work day, we finished Emma’s stove. It looked great. Our mason, ‘Carlosss’, keeps calling us “Lisiii, Erick and Dasia”. It is kind of nice the way he calls out to us.The children at Emma’s house are drawing for us and I am hugging kids and braiding hair. John is the soccer star in the village. We are all having a great time. It is going to be hard to leave here. We will be going to the new house tomorrow, Lillian’s house. This is Lucyyyy signing off.
“Los extrańamos chicos”
By the way guys, ‘dogo’ is dog according to John….

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6th 2017

Wow! What a day. We woke up early today to take a quick walk around the community. Today is laundry day for the women in the community and we got to see their laundry area as we went on our morning walk with Kathy. It was also nice to see kids going to school with their moms early in the morning. At 8am, we had our breakfast and headed to the village to meet meet the masons who would be showing us how to build  the stoves over the next few days. Candace introduced us to Carlos, Ceasar, Ricardo, Checha, Josue & Aroldo. We got divided into 5 groups among the masons and we were off and working. Long hot day full of sweat for everyone! The masons taught us the steps to building the stoves. Mixing the mortar and cutting pumus concrete block to fit the design. We really appreciate the effort the masons put into teaching us the artwork of masonry. Around 1 pm we had lunch brought to us by our hosts at Posados Los Volcanos and had activities with the children of the village. It was so heart warming to see them so happy to be playing with us. While most of us being some what mute towards the language, that didn't block us from enjoying their presence and understanding how they were just happy to be with us. Warm hugs and big smiles everywhere were the best! After play time with the kids we continued working till 4pm when we then headed back to the hotel. We took a much needed 1 hour break at the hotel before we went to Aroldo's home to learn to make tortillas from scratch. They let us make about 4 pounds worth of tortillas. It was a great experience. Long hot day at work but we all are excited for tomorrows!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Juan (Woven Baskets)

Stoves that will be replaced because of inefficiency

Cute kids in San Juan

March 5th 2017

Our day started with an early morning walk with Kathy and Tillie. They took us around to see the market set up before our 8am breakfast. Around 10am, Candace took us to the local market to experience how the locals shop. She then let us walk around in small groups to shop for ourselves which was was amazing! Around lunch, she introduced us to a local basket weaver named Juan who did beautiful work!! He taught us the process of how it's done and of course Katelyn & Beth completely rocked it! We then came back to our hotel and got picked up in the truck to head to San Juan to meet the towns people and the village we will be working in. Walking around we went into peoples homes and saw how different they lived from us Americans. It was heart touching for most of us also a huge eye opening experience. These next few days for all of us will be fulfilling and interesting for everyone as we work on the stove project with Aroldo.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


March 4th 2017

Today we started our day with Goyo picking us up and riding Guatamalen style in the back of a truck bed up a mountain to his parcel. Before arriving at his parcel we stopped at a breathtaking spot on the side of the mountain to over look San Lucas, Lake Atitlan and the volcanos. Goyo talked about the myth of the volcanos and how the city started. Once we were done at that spot we continued on to his "Bosque De Comida" or parcel. Being there made us all realize how much work is put into the meals that we eat and don't even appreciate. Goyo had us plant yuca plants, prune coffee plants and pull seeds off the amarymth. After that we took a lovely lunch break brought to us by our host at Posada Los Volcanos. In our group circle we did a meditation and reflection on our day. Clearing a full mind to focus on one small thing can help with stress. Learning so much agriculture from Goyo wasn't enough. Goyo taught us all life lessons and how to appreciate the smaller things and take a step back and think. In so little time, I can say we all felt like we received knowledge and experience from Goyo while we could not give to him, besides our presence. He was a beyond gracious host to all of us. Coming back from the parcel we had a little down time before dinner so we walked around San Lucas looking at the culture and how it runs.

Lake Atitlan

Ola Daytonians..