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Published: July 15th 2016
My haul to Guatemala
A large box that got delayed and they way one gets it delivered in the rough areas is adventurous. I manged raise sufficient money to buy some much needed materials.
So I have arrived once again in Guatemala City to help the teachers teach in a 3-5 year old Montessori class in the area known as La Esperanza – The Hope. When I arrived, one large box full classroom materials was delayed in Houston and the people at the baggage counter said don’t worry we will deliver it tomorrow. I said, “Really? You’ll deliver it? The area is very bad.” They said that that was no problem and they would deliver it. I was amazed. When I got to UPAVIM of course they told me that there was no way it would be delivered directly to us because the police will stop them from coming down here. If the gangs see a delivery car, it would be stopped and robbed. So, we had to make arrangements with the driver to meet at Cenma (also known as Centra Sur) the huge bus terminal for this part of town, get the box, and put take it with us on a bus back to UPAVIM.
There is terrible poverty and many gangs and all that those things bring to a community. I have been told that the violence has gotten much,
much worse. About a month before I arrived there was a police raid in the community and many people were arrested. Now I see police and military guards everywhere. They are on every bus and by every store. They are standing around on the sidewalk with automatic guns just keeping an eye on things. This is what it takes to make people safe here. For me, I don’t worry so much like I used to. I am not part of the gangs and pose no threat to their doings. I feel free to go out during the day with no problem, ride the bus, and go to the tienda across the street for a choco-banana in the evening. With all the guards around I feel safe enough. Mostly for me, the gangs just cause huge inconveniences and the fear of them blocks me from getting much of the help I could get for the Montessori class.
Once I got in, it seemed like I had never left. Dina, one of the teachers in Montessori, was the most excited to see me. She has been the one to keep in touch with me the most and we often
Sunrise on Volcán Aguas
This view from the rooftop volunteer living quarters of UPAVIM never gets old.
chat on Facebook or Skype. Some of the children remembered me from last year and came to give me a hug.
Life goes on here. Not much changes. There is the same evangelical music blaring out on loud speakers from surrounding churches most evenings, kids running around, people coming and going, and the street vendors yelling out their wares and selling pachas (sort of a tamale made with potatoes), roasted corn, ice cream, vegetables, and other things. There is a liveliness to this area that I don’t see in my safe, quiet neighborhood at home. The natural beauty of the land that contrasts with the tin shacks of the colonia gives me bittersweet view of the world. I need this place to remember how lucky I am to have what I have and to know that my way of life isn’t the only way the world works. Here, the people may not have very much but they always have hope – La Esperanza.
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