Guatemala – Lencho Appreciation post

Today my roommates and I woke up promptly at 6:50am so we could join our guide Lencho and a few bellboys of the hotel to wake up the birthday girl, Chela, with an early morning serenade. We sang her “Las Mañanitas” and then “Happy Birthday.” She was surprised to say the least!

Then we packed up our things and left the hotel in Chimaltenango to spend the day with our becadas and weavers. Personally, my day was rather thrilling! I learned to weave on an actual loom and make corn tortillas–both processes are much harder than they look but I’m glad I tried new things. On the way back to the Mayaworks office, our Tuk Tuk (a 3-wheeled motor vehicle without doors and the Guatemalan equivalent of a taxi) ran out of gas and we had to walk. It was a hilarious and definitely one-of-a-kind experience.

After some preparation for our movies, we took our bus to the final hotel in Antigua, where we enjoyed a relaxing but “calimax” evening with Lencho. What a guy! He is easily one of the most enthusiastic and energetic people I’ve ever met. He has long, free flowing hair and a huge, infectious smile. When he’s not running around, giving great hugs, or planning crazy surprises, he’s making everyone (including himself) laugh harder than they knew they could.

Just a few examples of his exuberant character: a few days ago Lencho took all willing participants, including me, to hike up a mountain at 5:30am and watch the sun rise. The following day, when we were released to do some shopping in Panajachel, he urged us (jokingly) to get tattoos. Today, we stopped by his house, which is largely outdoors and contains lots of rainbows and seemingly infinite plants, to pick up his guitar for our fiesta with the becadas on Friday. Of course, we also took this as an opportunity to visit his adorable dog.

Speaking of seemingly infinite, Lencho supplied a ton of cake today. Like 4. One at breakfast, two large banana breads in the afternoon, and a final birthday one after dinner. I’m kind of caked out.

PEACE & LOVE FROM GUAT -Katerina

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