Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Solola and Xela

Some updates about the work we're been doing in Solola (Pana) and Xela. We worked with a couple women’s weaving cooperatives and a computer literacy organization that doubles as an after-school program and a student library. Our organization, Soluciones Comunitarias, is opening an office in Solola, so while half of the group visited the computer literacy organization (Swan Tinamit) the other half worked on a marketing plan for the new office. At the end of the week we had two different campaigns where we helped the assesoras do eye exams and sell products that benefit their communities, such as glasses, solar lamps, and water purifiers.

It definitely hasn’t been all work, though. On Saturday we went zip-lining over the forest with the lake on one side and beautiful waterfalls on the other side. I had never zip-lined before, and it was absolutely incredible. The zip-lining was in a nature reserve which had spider monkeys, butterflies, waterfalls, and hanging bridges. On Saturday night, we went out to a bar in Panajachel called Iguana which had tequila shots for 5 quetzales ( about 65 cents) and 3 beers for 25 quetzales (about 3 dollars). On Sunday night, we found a restaurant with a huge TV screen and watched the Mavs win the NBA Finals :).

We’re now in Xela, which is the second biggest city in Guatemala (right behind Guatemala City). It’s actually called Quetzaltenango, but everyone calls it by the indigenous name, Xela. We’re staying in two amazing apartments. The girls have one 3 single rooms and one triple room. Of course I picked the last number for the order in which we picked beds, so I have the only twin bed in the apartment which also happens to be hard as rocks. Yay! We have a kitchen, so we did some grocery shopping and are going to cook most of our meals this week. Yesterday was Emily’s birthday, so we went out to a yummy hamburger place and then came back to the apartment building and had cake and champagne on the roof. We scared the shit out of emily with some local fireworks and a creepy clown cake (they ran out of all of the other normal ones...). Then we all watched the movie Taken in our apartment (if you haven’t seen it, just a word of advice.. don’t watch it when you are abroad. Liam Neeson is a badass though). We may or may not be contemplating filming a "Real World" style TV show while we are here called Into the Jungle... we’ll keep you posted.

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