Friday, September 27, 2013


In Guatemala City we stayed at Semilla - the Anabaptist seminary. These flowers were very pretty, but a bit hard to walk through at night.  

We visited the Mennonite Church in Guatemala City and participated in the Saturday morning music program. Here a young man is learning to drum, instead of joining a gang.

Part of our learning tour was to go to the cemetery. The military would line people up in front of this statue and shoot them. They would then toss them over the cliff behind it which just happens to have a garbage dump at the bottom of the cliff. We heard many stories of suffering in this recent war.

This is the aforementioned dump. A well organized though smelly place to work in, or look down upon for that matter.

One of our big adventures was going out to lake Atitlan to stay with some Mayan host families. We got to go to the homes of our host families on the back of this truck, in the rain. In the end, we had 14 people standing in the back of the truck.

Anna and Nicholas hosted me along with two other men. One of the men could speak Spanish, so we had a chance to actually talk to our hosts at length. Anna has five children ranging in age from 20 down to 4. Here are the two youngest.

We heard the stories of a number of families who had lost their homes to a mudslide. This is Juana. Her husband injured his leg, so is unable to work. Juana is trying to care for her husband and six children by making beaded jewelry.

The Spanish government built these new homes on the edge of the lake. Spain feels some responsibility for their historical treatment of the Mayan people.

This is the site of the village that was buried under 3 meters of mud. 150 people died in the slide. Since the area is now unsafe to live in, former villagers have gardens planted where their houses used to be.

Here is one of the three volcanoes surrounding lake Atitlan.