Dìa Tres: San Juan La Laguna

San Juan La Laguna is a community hidden from the fast pace of the modern world. The women walk the streets in traditional Guatemalan outfits, babies cradled across their chests in colorfully patterned blankets. The children race down the cobblestone streets on their bicycles. The men carry heavy bags of coffee over their heads under the hot sun. We are visiting during the winter, which means it is coffee season.
Our second day in San Juan began with our typical breakfast of scrambled eggs and beans – a meal we had already enjoyed for breakfast and dinner the day before. After our early start, we met up with our partners at the library and headed down the street to watch a weaving demonstration. The women showed us how they dye the string, and then demonstrated the time-consuming process of weaving. We were impressed by the colossal effort that goes into making one small huitpil.
We returned to the library to hang out with our partners until lunch. They truly have a talent for making fun out of anything. The group had a blast being entertained by a basketball and some squares of origami paper for hours, until we were called over for lunch at the restaurant near the library. Again, we ate with our partners, so everyone was able to continue asking questions and exploring each others cultures.
In the afternoon, we had to prepare the play which we were going to perform for the community. We divided into three groups and each prepared a scene around the theme of environment. When we finished preparing our scenes, we walked down to the dock by the lake and dangled our feet over the water for a while, enjoying the natural beauty of the lake and the warmth of the Guatemalan sun.
At 5, we returned to the library to perform our play. Our audience was mostly adorable children who enthusiastically participated.
After the show we had a chance to hang out with our hosts and try on some beautiful Maya clothing. Afterwards, we joined our hosts for dinner in the library where we were serenaded by beautiful marimba music — the national music of Guatemala, followed by dancing and then our sad good byes.

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