We headed out again, bright and early, for another day of family visits - such a blessing!
1st stop was the home of María Osorio Chocoy. María is our newest Beca student because we had a student decide to leave school. When Mynor approached the school director at the end of the 1st term about a replacement, he told Mynor he'd personally paid tuition for the last 2 months so María could continue. Her parents lost 4 babies before she was born and treasure her. Her favorite class is Tz'utujil (Mynor says she writes it better than he does) and she hopes to be a teacher. She showed us a beautiful bag she's crocheting from fine orange thread.
Josefa Angelina González Velásquez lives with a younger sister and a 19-year-old sister and receives help from older brothers who live nearby. Her favorite class is math and she plans to be a doctor.
José Nehemías Chocoy Natareno's favorite class is math - it makes Mike happy every time they say that since he's a math teacher. :-)
Their family gathers herbs and offered to cook some for us. Then they offered tortillas and I got a lesson in making tortillas. I love trying but it's MUCH harder than it looks. I made progress today, though!
Served with coffee, herbs that looked like tiny leaves (and tasted a bit like spinach), and hot chile powder, they were a delicious snack.
Miguel Xet Chiquibal has received the banner award from the government every year for having the best grades in his class. His parents are very supportive of his education and his father is helping with the cultural activities for the celebration tomorrow. He loves playing trumpet in the band and hopes to be a teacher. He would like to study away from San Pedro in one of Guatemala's larger cities in order to perfect his Spanish by being surrounded by Spanish speakers instead of native Tz'utujil speakers.
Evelin Elena Quiacaín González is a lovely girl who lives with grandparents. She's half way through her 1st year of teacher training and showed us some of her books and assignments including a teaching tool for the Maya number system.
Last stop of the day was Mynor's house for a wonderful lunch prepared by María, mother of Carlos who is a scholarship student in his 2nd of 3 years of business administration training. The food was fantastic, a pepián with rice, tortillas, vegetables, and chicken. We ate with Carlos, Mynor, and his 8-year-old Manuel, and took a peek at son Antonio napping before heading back to the apartment for rest and time to organize our things for tomorrow's celebration and our next transition. Happy trails!
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!