Updated: Sep 22, 2019
Good whatever time it is. It's already Thursday in Guatemala. So today was pretty long. For some of us it started of at 5 for the sunrise, but for others who slept through it was 6. We loaded our stuff into the van so Roberto could drive to the other side of the lake. Following that we hung out at the dock took some family pics. We had a buffet breakfast, with pancakes, plantains, eggs, all the fruit, and watermelon and papaya juice. Then we hopped on a boat and took a scenic ride across the lake. We arrived at our second fancy hotel, complete with a pool and spiny thing.
Our first stop of the day was to Adisa. Which, we soon learned, is a school for special needs. They educate and assist people ages 4-48. They do all sorts of things such as teach, keep a garden, tend to service bunnies and dog, and help create work. All the buildings were painted with cool murals. We helped distribute eco-filters and ate lunch.
After that we went to the peace gardens. This is a memorial for the 13 people that died in a military massacre during the Civil war. They had memorials for each person in the spot where they were shot and killed. We were privileged to hear the story of Jose. He was a resident of the area and came out to see the commotion on that night. When the military started to approach the civilians layed on the ground in hopes that they would survive. Jose revived 2 detrimental guns bullets, while he was lying down. He kept explain that he just thought his legs were numb, but in reality the bullets had left his bottom half paralyzed. It was his drunk cousin who helped Jose survive because his cousin fell asleep and missed the shooting. His cousin held Jose and helped to find help. He was eventually sent to the hospital and recovered. Since then he has become a major supporter of disability education and community.
After that we went a Catholic church. During the days when Macarthyism was umuck, Father Francisco was blacklisted due to his outreach. However, he could not leave his people so he soon returned to Guatemala and his church. He was shot and killed soon after. They have a memorial with splatters of his blood and other memorabilia. After that we returned to the hotel.
Soon we listened to Daniel a very spiritual Mayan man. He gave a rundown of the five senses and the ways we are misusing them, but how they connect us to God. Then he proceeded to perform an adapted Mayan ceremony. I say adapted due the candles brought by the westerners. He started with sugar poured in the fire pit with a cross for the coordinate directions. Then he placed a bunch of pine wood cups, pine wood bits, and chocolate about the fire bit. He proceeded to add various colored candles for different aspects, such as land and sea, at the different compass locations. Then he lit it on fire. He did a prayer for the different directions, switching between Quiche and Spanish. He then started to go through the Mayan calender praying for different aspects of life, such as sugar cane and feminine eneregy. The ceremony was impressive due to the amount of preparation required to perform it. It also smelled delightful. I did end up being about 3 hours but Daniel had such a soothing voice. After that we had dinner. Most of us had some mint lemonade and quesadillas. Then we went swimming in the rain and hung out until early morning, not wanting such an amazing day to end.