by Poleth Robledo
Another beautiful morning in Chajul, barely able to jump out of bed, my body sore from yesterdays 2 hour hike, I was ready to start another day filled with more cultural experiences. Clearly, I am not in shape for the Chajulense lifestyle.
Nonetheless I got out of bed exited to start our first service project with the community of Visuchuj, not too far from Chajul. At Visuchuj, we are helping build a vermiculture site for compost, where the children of Visuchuj can learn to produce their own organic fertilizer.
At the school, we worked with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders who loved having us, “Americanos” helping with their project. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by the kiddos ready to interact with us.
After our service project we had lunch with local families that showed us how to make tortillas. Thinking it was an easy process, I was fooled by my own assumptions. Respect for the Chajulense women who make tortillas perfectly round everyday.
My tortilla was the worst tortilla in all of Guatemala!
It was not even close to being the round shape tortillas are supposed to be, but it was still edible! Filled with tortillas for lunch I was ready for a siesta after a worked-filled morning.
After dinner, we had a Chajul war veteran named Antonio come and shared his story about his survival with us. His story was amazing. I wished the other students were able to hear the passion behind his words.
The translator did great, but Antonio had a lot more passion in his speaking that made the story sharing a great experience. After he finished his speech it was only respectful that we stood up and clapped for sharing with us a horrible but memorable part of his life.
It’s been a great day here in Chajul. Just another day for the books. I cannot wait for what other plans lie in front of us.
Till next time amigos. Saludos.