Guatemala Day 7: Our Final Day with the Becadas and Tejadores

Today was a day of celebration. Upon arriving in Comalapa close to 11 o’clock, we were all ready to celebrate our accomplishments of the week.

We began our presentation as soon as we arrived. The goal of our presentation was not only to share what we learned with each other and our hosts, but also to demonstrate our gratitude for their enormous role in creating this experience. Each pair of students made a short video that combined what we heard and saw with the becadas and tejedores on Tuesday and Wednesday. We introduced these and showed them on a projector. Once again, Kat, Anna, and Maddie treated us to lovely musical performances, and as a grand finale we all sang the Castilleja School Song.

Then it was the becadas turn to perform. To the tune of lively mayan music, they performed a quick number, then invited us to join in. In the blink of an eye, we were all on stage, hand in hand, kicking our feet into the center of the circle and laughing.

Lunch was traditional mayan vegetables, soup, and meat, but instead of tortillas we had tamallitos (miniature tamales without filling) wrapped in banana leaves. Mayaworks also brought a large orange piñata, which was attacked by three dizzy and blindfolded girls before being finished off by Ms. Negron. A rainbow of hard candies spilled out into the courtyard where we were celebrating, and we all got to enjoy some Guatemalan treats.

The Tejadores, or weavers, put some of their works on display, and we were able to observe and purchase their intricate creations. I think almost all of us will be coming home with beautiful woven work, in one form or another.

The becadas then brought out six rolls of toilet paper, which, to be perfectly honest, seemed slightly odd at first. We were corralled into groups of four, and then our mission became clear: we were racing to wrap one person up entirely in toilet paper mummy-style! Although my group was the last to finish, I still think Anna was the most thoroughly wrapped of all the mummies.

Finally, we shared two of our favorite group games with the becadas: “Who is the Leader?” and “Down by the Banks.” For those of you who don’t know, “Who is the Leader” involves everyone getting in a circle and choosing one person to lead with motions (like clapping, snapping, stomping, etc) and one person to leave the circle (so as not t hear who the leader is) and then take three tries to guess who the leader is. “Down by the Banks” is a game set to a short song, where all the participants stand in a circle and clap one another’s hands to it’s tune. The person whose hand is clapped at the end of the song is eliminated.

These joyful festivities unfortunately did have to come to an end- a final exchange of gifts, snapping of pictures, and hugs goodbye. We found ourselves once again on the bus, suddenly with only one day left of this incredible journey. I truly hope the becadas and tejedores understood how important and meaningful it was for us to meet with them, and I know I will never lose the beautiful, dried flower covered card Lidia gave to me. It’s amazing how we became so close so quickly, but now are one more separated. However, I know we have all been significantly changed by our time here, and tomorrow will bring the ecstasy that comes with ephemeral joy.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment