We headed first to the highlands of Guatemala where we spent a few nights in Antigua before moving on to Lake Atitlán to enjoy the scenery, renew friendships at the Cooperativa Spanish School, and celebrate with our Beca Project students and their families. Then we flew to the island of Roatán, Honduras for beaches, snorkeling, diving, and flyfishing. HAPPY TRAILS!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dawn to dusk, another fulfilling day

How can a day that starts with a sunrise this stellar be anything but amazing?
After breakfast we headed out with Mynor for another morning of family visits. First stop was the home of Luis Mendez González and his mother. Luis is 18 which makes attending the equivalent of 8th grade a bit complicated. He is very smart but family circumstances meant he couldn't attend school for years and they continue to pull him in many directions. I'm hopeful he can keep his head in the game despite the pressure of friends who don't attend school and a father who neither lives with them nor helps them and thinks Luis should be working in the fields.
Juana Micaela Tuch Quiacaín's home felt very happy and optimistic. Neither parent could attend school past grade school and they're excited that Juana has the opportunity to attend. She is one of the brightest and most dedicated students in the school.
The other 2 families we visited live in the country high above the town. We were rewarded for the steep climb with interesting views in every direction.
It was exciting to visit the home of María Ujpan Tuch because her family has a new home thanks to the efforts of the Cooperativa Spanish school and donations from dozens of people including Beca Project folks. María is the oldest of 6 kids and, at 15, is just a year or 2 younger than her parents were when she was born. They are very proud of her and see a bright future for her since she has the opportunity for the education they did not have.
Last year Juan Carlos Chavajay Navichoc seemed like a boy and this year he seemed like a young man. His grades have improved every quarter and he wants to attend colegio to train to become a business man.
The walk back to town was easier than the walk up!
After lunch we took a tuktuk (golf cart taxi) to the nearby village of San Juan La Laguna to shop for textiles. Here's a little restaurant with a cool name
and here are photos of some of the weavings we saw and/or purchased at local women's weaving cooperatives.
Heading back into San Pedro we caught a few moments of an energetic pickup game of basketball.
before posing for these photos with one of my favorite San Pedro ancianos (old guys) from previous trips. Happy trails!

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