Yesterday was our first full day in Guatemala City. After an exhausting trip we had a good nights rest and were looking forward to what the next day would bring.
We began our day with a wholesome breakfast and an orientation regarding the home stays. Vicky and Andrea who are part of the Casa’s program provided us with information on the Guatemalan culture, a detailed syllabus of our schedule for the next few weeks, and finally a slip of paper describing our host family so we would have a sense of of who they are before meeting them.
For most of us, staying with a family during the duration of our time here was initially our biggest anxiety as well as one of the biggest excitements. Though it may be a challenge it is reassuring that we are all experiencing this together.
In the afternoon, we journeyed to zone 1 which is the central of Guatemala city. We were split into groups and given an assignment to navigate several destinations and then answer the list of questions and that destination. After this challenge we had a pleasant lunch and then went to the colorful Market. The market was on several levels both outside and inside. The scents and sights were overwhelming as well as pleasant to the eye. We were all in awe of the color that filled this market, of artisan goods as well as a wide variety of fruits, many which we have never seen before. This experience was most definitely one of a kind and a great introduction into the Guatemalan culture. After the market we made our way to “The national palace” where we had a tremendous tour guide who educated us about the history of Guatemala.
Once the tour was concluded we made our way back to CASAs, anxious to meet our families.
We were all embraced warmly with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and departed with our host families, seeing each other again the very next morning where we will begin a new day concentrating on “race in Guatemala.”
– Hattie S.