Early Sunday morning we set off to the local market and to view the church located in Guatemala city. We previously had visited a church in Antigua and the students as well as myself had felt very out of place but the church in Guatemala city had a more diverse set of members within the church.
Later in the afternoon we got to meet Sylvia who was previously a Gurerilla activitist. I felt so priveleadged to be given the opportunity to meet her and discuss the political issues within Guatemala as well as what it was like to be a Guerilla. Sylvia was very wise and I admired her courage and strength to be an activist at such dangerous times in Guatemala. What some of the most shocking information shared with us by Sylvia was how most people within Guatemala are not aware of the true facts that happened within the war between Guerillas and the Army, public information has been skewed. Recent studies have proven that the official Army was accountable for 97% of the massacres including rape, murder and “the disappeared”; Where as the Guerillas were only held accountable for 3% of the massacres that took place. Roughly over 200,000 people were killed during the war.
The Guatemala field school study has been an opportunity of a lifetime and I am so thankful for being a participant. Throughout the trip a lot of my thoughts, ideas and views were often challenged enabling me to think more critically about things in society. Although it’s the last day and everyone is exhausted I am sad to be leaving Guatemala and the learning experience. This trip has been a blast and I just want to thank everyone for participating and the Teachers for making these sort of opportunities happen for us.
Karla Robinson is one of our visiting students from the College of the Rockies
The People of Guatemala
This trip has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. From driving across the country, to sunrise at the top of Tikal’s tallest temple, EVERYTHING has been fantastic.
One of the most amazing contributions to this trip has been the people of Guatemala. They are always willing and happy to help, whether it be with directions, or with an impromptu Spanish lesson at the market. About 95% of the time on our bus trip across this amazing country, I have spent hanging out the window with my camera. Everyone I pass has pointed me out, started smiling, laughing, and posing for pictures.
The people are a massive part of what makes this country so great. Although Guatemala has the 3rd highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, the general happiness and willingness to help seems much higher than most other places in the world. People are much more appreciative of what they have, and much less caught up in personal material prosperity. There seems to be a much greater appreciation for the little things in life, and so much less is taken for granted.
When visiting schools in this amazing country you really notice how appreciative those who have been fortunate to receive an education are. Little things such as taking picture, and showing them what they look like in it leaves them staring in awe… Quickly followed by ecstatic smiles, joy, and a the need to have more photos taken.
Once the ball started rolling, I had a constant swarm of children surrounding me; all attempting to be front and center for the next photo.
It has been a really humbling experience to see all these people appreciative and happy from things which are seen as meaningless to most people in our society.
This trip has really made me question who the “Fortunate” ones are.
Avery Jones is an Arts and Science student