Rural Life & Spanish Classes

Group photo at the waterfall during the hike on the community farm called Santa Anita.

Written By Ish & Dish

Saludos desde la escuela de la montaña! We’re now in the welcoming town of Nuevo San Jose where we’re back to enjoying more rice, beans, and tortillas with local families with whom we’ve been having our daily meals. We’re also back to learning more Spanish in one-on-one classes dividing us up between morning and afternoon batches.

While we were hoping for a bit of a laid back week, it ended up being jam packed with exciting and informative daily activities such as charlas (presentations) focusing on the history of Guatemala, current political affairs, and health within the community. We also hiked up to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, to meet a spiritual guide who taught us about our ‘nawal’ (traditional Mayan spirit or energy associated with your date of birth) and demonstrated a traditional mayan ceremony. We finally got to try our hand at making tortillas for our special Thursday Night pupasas which ironically ended up looking like the map of Central America (aka NOT perfectly round) but were still very delicious. To wrap up our week of Spanish school, we were confidently challenged by our teachers to a game of fútbol (soccer). Let’s just say they left that soccer field with nothing but a hard loss and more arthritis.

This was the week of riding in pickup trucks everywhere and beautiful misty evenings, of long nights playing card games and talking until the wee hours, of playing tag with kids in the community and marriage proposals for Ismael, of funny conversations with our families in broken Spanish and being stuck in traffic for 2 hours, of stocking up on midnight snacks and shooing off the sneaky cat trying to steal them, of making deep connections with locals and truly getting to know Guatemala.

Hoping everyone is doing well back home. Hasta luego!
– Ish and Dish

Liona looking pretty for Spanish class.
Rachel and Serena enjoying the spray of a waterfall during a hike in a community owned coffee farm.
Catie, Ish and Grace outside the mini museum about the Armed Conflict in Guatemala. The group met with members of a coffee farm who had formed the community after the Peace Accords were signed in Guatemala. They heard one woman’s story about her participation as a Guerrilla and then had the opportunity to hike on the farm to a nearby waterfall.
Ben, taking some time to relax in the hammock at the school.