A small group of us are sitting around a plastic table at the trailhead for the hike up Pacaya, Guatemala’s most accessible volcano. Most of the group is off exploring the volcano, with the promise of lava-cooked pizza at the top. But a few of us stayed behind to observe the life of the guides, horsemen, and families who make their life off the mountain. We’ve had good food here, seen funny interactions, and are now reflecting on our first day and half. Here are some thoughts from Cameron, JP, Twitch, Justin, and Laurraine:

“Guatemala City was very busy but cute – Antigua was adorable, with a flower festival that seemed very unique. It was interesting being here after traveling so much in the world. Guatemala is familiar but different” -Twitch

“It’s really colorful here – the cities are colorful, with buildings of every color, the mountains have so many shades of green – everywhere I look is a new color. It’s different than the US but there are familiar colors – just different ways of using them. Their culture is very artistic and bright and you can feel it, no matter where you look. And it seems like this culture is connected to this place.” -Laurraine

“Antigua was nice – different than I expected it to be and certainly different from the US. There were a lot of people making a life off the place but they were also very nice and welcoming. It was like we were working together, even when I was being asked to buy something. The museum was interesting and when we got money people were helpful.” – JP

“Everyone smiles and waves and gives fist bumps, it’s like we’re all together.” – Twitch

“It didn’t really shock me but I didn’t expect to be so welcomed here. People can somehow stare at you but still make you feel welcome. It was a surprising combination.” -Cameron

“The flowers were cool because they were different than what we have back home and they were really colorful.” -Justin

“I noticed the beautiful jewelry of the women. It seems like they have amazing gems and rocks and minerals here.” -Laurraine

“The food is the best I’ve had in a long time. I’d literally move here just for the food and the friendly people who served us. Even when we didn’t speak enough Spanish to say what we wanted, people were friendly and did their best to help us understand.” -Cameron

“We’ve been thinking a lot about education while we’ve been here and have found that education is really different here. It wasn’t too surprising to learn this but it was surprising to see that private schools are really different from public schools mostly because they also teach English. We also learned that college admissions are all about money and not about grades or test scores – if you have the money, you can make it. As a result, a diploma doesn’t really mean as much as it would back in the US. It’s still just all about connections.” -Cameron

“And we learned that schools are different in different parts of the country. In some places, they even teach Mayan languages. In others, there might just be one teacher to teach 40 students all of their subjects. It was also interesting that students could choose what they want to learn after like 6th grade. It seems like school is really meant to help you learn skills.” -Laurraine

“The economy is very different from what I’ve experienced back home. I went to a stand and spoke with a vendor to learn about where she gets her materials, toys, and all the things she sells. She told us that they handmade everything, every item they sell. That was really different and it made me think they were even more proud of their work.” -JP

2 responses to “Same Same, but different – Guatemala”

  1. nstrasner18 Avatar

    Waiting on an alumni Global Ed trip🤣 Have a blast guys!

    1. Aaron Avatar

      You’ll get the first official invite! Where should the first alumni trip head?

Leave a Reply

Blog at WordPress.com.