Love this place and these people

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lake Atitlan

This is a typically dressed little Mayan girl. It never ceases to amaze me how they can just walk around/sit/converse with tons of stuff on their heads.

This is a woman doing the typical Mayan backstrap weaving. These take forever and I can't imagine doing this for your entire life.

This is our photo shoot for the next "Lake Atitlan" teen drama series. As you can see I'm the only girl character...you can only imagine what kind of drama is going to happen!!

This lake is so beautiful and the pictures don't do it justice. I didn't want to leave.

Lake Atitlan at Sunset from our deck and from the restaurant where we ate dinner.

Our boat ride across the lake was AMAZING. We actually had our own private boat and he took us to three of the small villages. They were each so beautiful. We felt like each one was actually it's own island.

Here I am riding in the back of a truck on the way to visit "Maximon". A local idol who is known as the black Jesus. He smokes and drinks and he moves from place to place. They took us to the house where he was and they were having some type of ceremony. Very interesting. The drive around the lake was beautiful though.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photos of the kids and Guatemala

These are pictures of Antigua where I'm living. It is a beautiful and fun city.

Hermana Aury, Alejandra, Levy, and Brandon.



Oscar. He is so adorable and probably one of my favorites. But they're all adorable.

Mangy, Bryan, Neta, Andrea and Tania.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The title of this post comes from one of my new Guatemala friends who told me that is what I have been doing since I was laid off. And it's true. My unemployment is definitely fun. The last 6 weeks have included sightseeing in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, and of course Utah. Those were some good times. But as good as they were, I think my first week in Guatemala eclipses them all.

Like any major change in life, it's been a little scary and stressful. Monday was a little crazy since I got no sleep on Sunday night. I flew in from Utah at 10:30pm and had to be at the airport to leave for Guatemala by 5am. So I did some packing and cleaning, and no sleeping. By the time I arrived in Guatemala I was a little bit tired and delusional. Mandy and Guillermo picked me up from the airport to take me to the orphanage which was an hour away. I was grateful that I was not the one driving. Holy cow they are crazy here. Aaron, I now understand the rules of driving that you were explaining to us when we were in Puerto Rico. There really aren't any. But my first glimpses of the country were beautiful. Everything is so green and beautiful. A different green than I've really ever seen anywhere before. The fields that go straight up the side of the mountains are great

That first day I arrived at the orphanage and met the kids and some other volunteers who I'm working with, who are all so great. Simon and Zoe are a married couple from London who have been traveling south and central america for the last 6 months. Tom is a student from England who wanted to do something fun with his summer. Phoung is a school therapist who also wanted to do something great with her summer. And the list of fun new people goes on and on.

There are 15 kids at the orphanage, ages 13 - 11 months. They are adorable. I have had a chance to hear some of their stories and it is heartbreaking. Mandy and Guillermo are doing an incredible thing by bringing them in and giving them a home and a family. Because that is really what the orphanage feels like. The kids fight and play and help eachother all the time. I love seeing their interactions (not so much the fighting ones). I will post some photos of our activities. But basically what we're doing is teaching them school. Which is pretty awesome since none of us are teachers AND each child is on a completely different level. It's pretty crazy some days trying to figure out how we can help in the best way. The reason they're not in school has to do with the way Guatemala runs their public schools. A little messed up. But I'm happy I can help. We do school in the morning and activities in the afternoon. Sometimes I feel like I'm babysitting 10 kids...which can get a little out of hand. But the kids just love you and love being around you, and it's nice to be loved.

The latest development is that I actually moved to Antigua on Monday. I was at the orphanage for a week and after talking to the other volunteers I found a homestay for really cheap that provides all my meals and I am taking Spanish lessons once a week. I actually feel really spoiled down here. I don't have to cook or clean or do anything except teach school, play with kids and do fun things on the weekends. Anyone who wants to join in the fun is welcome to come down. It is amazing. I need to write an entire different post about this last weekend. But I want to get something posted tonight so I'm just going to post this right now. I'll also remember to bring my camera cord next time to send some photos.

Hasta luego!!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Well this has to be quick but I just wanted to let everyone know that I am leaving for Guatemala in about 5 hours. I will be gone for almost 3 months and email will pretty much be the only way to get ahold of me. The story of how I got to this point has more details than I have time to write on here seeing as how I am still in the process of packing, but I would be more than happy to answer any questions if you comment or write me an email. I will be working in an orphanage in Chimaltenango and I am very excited about it. I am going to try to post updates occasionally. Wish me luck!!