category: Jims Guatemala

nickLegSM.jpgturkeydaySM.jpgSo, we just got back from our Thanksgiving. It was a nice time. We travelled about 5 hours to Chiantla, next to the state capitol of Huehue, where about 10 of us volunteers met at Cat’s apartment for a pitch-in dinner. It went really well, and people somehow came up with all the necessary parts: a turkey, pumpkin pie, cookies, mashed potatoes, stuffing, you know. And since we are all freinds, it was kindof like hacing a family. Kindof. Hey, we do the best we can. Nick Bardo, our resident Viking, did a great job with the turkey- both eating it as well as cooking it. We knew it would be a good trip when we left at 6am in th emorning, and the first thing to cross our path was a turkey! But being Guatemalan, it was his lucky day, and we did not eat him.

zaculeu_aboveSM.jpgThe next day, we went to visit the nearby Mayan ruins of Zaculeu (or Saq’ulew, in the mayan toungue). This picture is taken from atop the largest pyramid, which was used for sacrifices. The story of Zaculeu is sad, but typical of most of the Maya: it was the capitol of the region, a seat of power and culture from about 400AD until the mid-1500s. The Mayans got comfortable with their lofty temples, advanced mathematical concepts, and accurate geometry- and never got around to inventing the wheel, steel, or gunpowder. But someone else (the Europeans) did, and they brought their inventions with them in 1524 and destroyed the city.


While we were walking about enjoying the serenity and warm sunlight, we heard the sounds of merriment behind one of the temples. We investigated, and saw this: the modern day maya, playing a ball game in the the very court their ancestors used a thousand years ago. A very cool experience.

We then returned to the big city to spend some more time with friends. As it turns out, McDonalds (and the new mall) opened in Huehue on Friday, so we went by to see what all the commotion was about. Wow, a hundred people in line to get a Big Mac. Not really sure what I think about that, especially since the cost of a Big Mac is about what the average farmer makes in a day.


Posted by: jfanjoy