And you think nothing can top machetes? Think again.

Concrete, machetes, what ever could be left to top this trip of wonder and awe—only 4 days in?

That would have to be driving into a non-tourist part of Guatemala City, watching Juan Carlos navigate the streets, and arriving at our final destination: a legit market that Andres didn’t even know existed. I bet you’re asking though, why exactly did Juan Carlos take us to the market for an unscheduled stop, after a long day of work? Continue reading

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El Sexto

As I walked into the classroom with Juana, all I heard was gibberish: a word here, a word there, but mostly lots of noise as the kids settled into their desks.

The teacher wore jeans and a t-shirt and she quickly established order: Literature was first. The students took out these mini notebooks that looked almost like my old composition books, complete even with stickers and drawings/colors.

Before the teacher began to teach, she gave the kids a talking to– from what I could gather, there had been some sort of antagonizing that had happened between the boys and girls. She spoke to them about how they’d been given a chance to succeed, and it was up to them whether they worked hard and graduated at the end of the year, or if they goofed off and ended up not passing their classes. It was much like a talk my class might have received from a teacher when I was that age– the only difference was that what waited me when I went home was not a shack. It was not hunger. It was not a dirt floor nor no running water. Again, not much changes in sixth grade, but there were still acute differences from my experience years ago.  Most importantly, I didn’t have nearly as much riding on sixth grade as these boys and girls seemed to.   Continue reading