Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Days in Guatemala

Hello, readers! Sorry we haven't posted on a few days, we've been so busy!

On Tuesday night, we all learned to do the salsa! (And it was quite a hilarious experience). Our instructor, Fernando, was quite the professional, and quite patient with us as he taught us our basic steps! Watch out, America, we're professional salsa dancers now!

On Wednesday, the girls working at the orphanage and the daycare had their last day. It was a bittersweet ending, with memories to last a lifetime.

On Thursday, we all came back together to build our last stove. It was BEAUTIFUL! We even finished with a few minutes to spare due to our quick working now that we knew all the steps.

Today is sadly our last day in Xela. We are all together at The Street Children Project, making tons of grilled cheeses for all the kids here. We hoped to bring a little taste of America to Guatemala, to have the children experience new foods.

Tonight we are having our last dinner together at a local restaurant to tie up our wonderful trip.

Tomorrow we depart Xela at 5am, beginning our long trip back home!

See you all soon!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 8: Today we climbed a volcano with a couple obstacles along the way. It was a pretty difficult hike that at times felt like we were never going to reach the top. Thankfully our chaperone Joe warned us about a flock of sheep, goats, and rams that were approaching us by calmly saying "there are animals coming...there coming!". We all made it to higher ground as the farmer and tour guide laughed at our reaction to the harmless animals. After that interaction, we proceeded up the volcano. We then came face to face with 3 cows, the tour guide distracted them with his red shirt and stick while we safely went around them. We finally made it to the top of the volcano, laughing about our animal interactions along the way! When we got to the top at 2100 ft. above sea level and it was quite cloudy and visibility was pretty bad. We waited about 20 minutes and were able to see the other volcanos. The view was well worth the wait. During the wait we heard two eruptions that sounded like airplanes, but was unable to see any lava like we expected.  The walk down was not as strenuous and all made it down safely! After the volcano hike we went to the Center where we shopped and found a lot of great souvenirs. We then enjoyed pizza at the local pizza place to celebrate Bridgette's 20th birthday. To finish off the night on the way back to the school for our meeting it started down pouring. The chaperones all opted to walk in the rain while the girls got cab rides home. Joe experienced the classic movie scene where the cab hits a puddle and soaks the pedestrian. To end the fun filled day we enjoyed cupcakes at our meeting and sang happy birthday to Bridgette. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The past two days we have built stoves for two different women and their families. We built them from the bottom by making our own cement, stacking cinder blocks and bricks, and layering dirt and sand to create each stove. It was an awesome learning experience for everyone and opened our eyes to a completely different world than we are used too. The stoves are important to these families and we are proud to have bad the opportunity to make a difference. Today, we traveled up the mountain sides to a place called "Fuentes Georginas," the hot springs. We could not go any higher in altitude and were basically in the clouds! We got to relax in the steaming hot water and eat an American lunch! All 10
students enjoyed a cheeseburger and fries! We are excited to venture to an erupting volcano tomorrow where we will be hiking up in the morning. Buenos noches!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Hola blog readers,

Posting live from an Internet cafe! Last night we all visited the chocolate house as a group and it was very good! We started out with a chocolate fountain and plates of fruit as well as yogurt we added the chocolate to, and hot chocolate to finish off the treats. The chocolate house is actually a family's home where they run the business and have for many generations. The woman talked to us about the history of chocolate and how it was first gold for the Mayans. Basically everyone in the world loves chocolate especially because it can be used for so many different things. While she was speaking her son did his best to translate to English for us. He didn't seem conscious of the fact that she was giving us a presentation because he walked around the house making loud funny noises. He even took out a huge knife to cut down a decoration that was in the way for our picture. I think we were all entertained by him and his care free attitude more than anything.  The group working at the street children project created an awesome painted mural with characters like nemo and woody from toy story. Today at the day care a few of us enjoyed a siesta they had which was a fundraiser for the children at the daycare. They were so gracious for our donations and we ate some nachos and queso. The woman named Hope who was in charge of the association that helps fund the daycare was there and someone we will definitely remember. She gave us memory rings and expressed her joy that we were there and hopes that we will return again some day. Tonight we plan to go out to dinner as a group- a much needed Mexican meal.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

dia 4

Hola blog follwers,

Today has been another sunny and beautiful day in Guatemala. Another group arrived today from Maine and joined us at the street project. Today was a great day for teaching English at the local school. The students reviewed what they learned yesterday (food) by competing in a lively boys vs. girls game. Then they learned about clothes and accessories by using hand drawn pictures of people wearing various outfits. They were very eager and excited to learn English and were picking up the words very well. On the way home from the school some of us had the oppurtunity to visit a local market. At the market there were many people selling fruits, vegetables, material, jewelry, and pottery. This market was very huge and we were only able to see a quarter of it. We cannot wait to go back. Tonight, as a group, we will be visiting a chocolate factory. This will be a very sweet experience!

Adios for now,
The Guata Girls and Joe

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hola from Day 3

Buenos noches Guata-followers!
 Today was day 3 of our trip, and all our groups have been working at their project sites again today. Things are going well, everyone's starting to adjust to our new climate (it's been a bit chilly here in the mornings!) and our Spanish is improving every day. Special thanks to Student Leader Kait Rooney for carrying the Street Project group with her grasp of all things Espanol! 
 Every day, one of the Guata Girls will be sending a post out to keep everyone updated - know we miss you and love you all!
 See you soon!
   The Guata Girls and Joe

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 2

Hola from Guatemala, Day 2!

We arrived safe and sound in Quetzaltenago yesterday around 6:30pm and had dinner with our host families before sleeping for the night since we were EXHAUSTED.

Today we started our volunteer placements with 5 of us going to the Street Children Project, 5 of us at the Orphanage and Day Care, and 3 people at a local school.

Those at the street children project painted in the morning and helped with maintenance, then played with the children in the afternoon. The kids loved playing soccer (fĂștbol) and getting piggy-back rides, which made for some hilarious pictures. The kids also loved playing with English/Spanish flash cards that we brought alone with us. Those at the orphanage and day care enjoyed a day in the sun playing games with the kids like charades, duck duck goose, and Simon says. The volunteers at the local school are in charge of teaching basic English and computer skills to students ages 12-17.

We are about to head out on a tour of the city, but want all our friends and family to know that we are well and miss you all very much, but are very excited for the rest of our trip!

Til tomorrow,
The Guata Girls and Joe!!