category: Jims Guatemala

Today we visited the third of the Health Posts that we are supporting with our work, this one in Quixabaj (pronounced KEE-shah-BAHk). Basically, we are doing health education in preparation for the infrastructure construction next year. Most of our work is in the health post in Temux, where we live. Once a week, though, we go to the second Post in Santa Eulalia to give lectures. It’s 40 minutes away by microbus. Once a week is nice because there is internet and a market to buy food in Santa Eulalia. Quixabaj… well, that’s a different deal altogether. We will be going there about once every two months, and staying for a few days to give a bunch of lectures in rapid succession. Why? Because it takes about five hours to get there, over the worst road I have ever seen in my life. Oh, and you have to ride in the back of a pickup truck with 20 Guatemalan farmers, and there is only one pickup per day. With that much trouble, you bet we don’t want to make the trip very often.


Our trip today was special, though. Since we were merely going to be presented to the community, we were lent a Ministry of Health truck and driver, so it would be possible to make the round-trip in one day. We spent hours being tossed around in the back seat of the truck, bouncing down the trail like a Jeep commercial. We saw places where half of the road was gone due to landslide (and 300 foot dropoff), and other places where the road was a 100% grade (that’s 45 degrees, folks). Our driver had a special mix CD he’d prepared for just such an occasion; surprisingly, it wasn’t marimba music or Regaton (Latino-Jamaican rap), the poison of choice in Guatemala. Instead, it was 80’s hits with techno remixes, including:

  • the Ghostbusters theme (I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts)
  • Self Control (Laura Brannigan)
  • I’m a Barbie Girl
  • Cruel Summer (You know, form the Karate Kid)
  • I’ve Got to Break Free (Queen)
  • I Saw the Sign (Ace of Base)
  • not one, but TWO by Survivor (Eye of the Tiger, and the other one from Rocky IV)
  • some Abba
  • Funky Town

Guatemala is a strange place.

The good news, though, is that Quixabaj is VERY pretty, and gives us a change to see another climate. It’s about 30 degrees hotter in Quixabaj than in our hometown of Temux Grande. They have banannas, pinapples, and coffee growing everywhere. It, too, is on top of a mountain (as you can see in the picture). As with our first visit to Temux, much of the town turned out to see the gringoes. We spoke some nice words. We stayed in the blazing sun for HOURS while they thanked us for coming. All were happy.

Posted by: jfanjoy