Learning to Weave in Guatemala!

On Sunday morning we started the day off by learning about the dying and weaving procesScreen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.17.59 PMs from the local Women’s Cooperative and in the afternoon we split into groups and spent time with the youth from San Juan La Laguna.

We spent the afternoon wandering around the town    and got to interact with the residents, and even peel potatoes with them! Aside from shopping and looking at the beautiful weavings and bags the women in the town created, a few of us were challenged to a soccer game against a group of friendly Guatemaltecos we met in the park.

In the evening, we prepared skits about recycling with members of the youth group. Later, we presented Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.18.12 PMthese in front of citizens of the town, and had the pleasure of listening to a few boys play traditional Mayan music that was played on conch shells, flutes, and maracas. We all joined in a lively dance along to wonderful marimba music.  We then shared a delicious dinner in the library, which of course included our favorite tortillas. After dinner, we exchanged presents with the youth group and were delighted to receive spirit animals and friendship bracelets from them. It was really nice to meet and get to know the youth group and we were sad to say goodbye.

We had our first debrief session as a group last night. It is important to give everyone a chance to reflect on their experiences. We talked about the Riecken Foundation and Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.18.31 PMour feelings about the trip so far, which were unanimously positive. This was a great time to bond with our travel mates. Afterwards, we lit some fireworks to end the day with a blast.

This morning, many of us woke up before the rooster crowed (there actually is a rooster) and went on a sunrise hike to a nearby vista point. The views were spectacular and breathtaking and we watched the sun rise as the city began to wake up.

After breakfast, we packed up our things and left our hotel, crossing Lake Atitlan by boat. We spent a few hours in the markets across the lake looking at the different stalls and learning to barter. Not only was it rewarding to find gifts for our friends and family (yes, there’s one for you mom), but also to practice a skill that was unfamiliar to most of us. We also enjoyed succulent fruit smoothies that featured truly fresh fruit.

We spent the remainder of the day traveling by bus to Chimaltenango, and we are excited to learn more about this town during the next two days.

Yours truly,

Blogging and Debrief  Mavens

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