By Alexander Fertik

I shared a day as leader with Enrique and Sophia. In order to use our talents best, we were put into 3 groups. We chose a topic we liked – I chose Mayan culture vs. Spanish identity; Enrique chose education; and Sophia chose the economy. We went around Antigua to find information we could learn about our topic.

My group and I first stopped at a museum about Guatemalan history. We thought it would be a good starting point for our topic. We learned about Jade in the museum and found out the ways that Mayans used Jade and other rocks and minerals. It was interesting to think about how Mayan culture could only come from this place.

After that, we found two women in the central square who were dressed in traditional clothes. We tried to interview them to learn more about what they thought. It didn’t work – and now I want to learn more Spanish so it could work next time. We did take notes based on what we saw them do and what they were selling and we learned from the experience of trying.

We kept seeing people wearing traditional Mayan dresses but they were always selling stuff. There was a lot to think about just from that fact.

After we tried to chat, we went for lunch and ate together. During our meal, we shared some information with the other groups and we learned from them. It all connected.

We headed back to the square for a little bit before leaving. We got our last questions answered and then headed to a house to eat with Pilar’s family. They were extremely friendly and gave us delicious food.

We started the day with a lot of goals and we learned a lot about the topics we were assigned. But we didn’t learn everything. I still have a lot of questions. But maybe that is another kind of thing to learn – that learning doesn’t start and stop. It’s a process. Today was a big step in the process.

Thank you to Señora B for translating for us!

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