Thursday, June 12, 2008

Update Wednesday 06-12

June 12, 2008

by: Colin, Jessica and Hillary

This morning we took our first adventure outside of San Juan. We loaded up the backs of two pickup trucks and headed to San Pedro, the next town over. From there we took una launcha (a boat) to Santiago, across the lake. The minute we stepped off the boat we were approached by several aggressive salesmen/women/children. Goyo, our guide from Fundacion Solar, led our group through the streets of Santiago and past tons of venders and art galleries. We also saw the factories where the traditional Santiagan skirts are woven, with textile patterns unique to the town. Then we walked for about twenty minutes, passing by the beautiful views of the lake, to get to el Parque de Paz (the Park of Peace).
Upon arrival, Goyo explained to us that el Parque de Paz was created to commemorate the horrendous violence that was perpetrated against the native Mayans during the civil war. With Jane and Gracia translating, he told us the stories of the victims, including the owner of our hotel, who had suffered. After lunch at our first Guatemalan restaurant, we split into small groups of one chaperone and two students to explore the city's market. We enjoyed bargaining, negotiating prices, playing Uno with some of the Guatemalan children, and purchasing treasures that will remind us forever of this place and culture. Boarding the boat for our return, many of us discovered a ladder to the top deck and decided to enjoy the ride home and the view from above. When we got back to San Pedro, we had one truck waiting to take us to San Juan, and we all piled in together.
However, we had too many people for one truck, and they called another truck to take part of the group. Unfortunately, soon after starting up the hill through San Pedro, the second truck ran out of gas and proceeded to creep backwards down the entire hill, never coming to a complete stop. When we got to a small auto store that sold gas, the driver only bought a half gallon, but we managed to return to San Juan safely.
The rest of the day was spent begining the mural, eating, and discusing the events of the day.
(Then we all came home and had an argument about where commas should be placed within sentences.)

No comments: