In a bizarre morning, we had a 5.6 earthquake that woke me up, but that I did not mine because I’m used to them from Cali. For other students it was there first time experience an earthquake that they fell. The earthquake was like my personal alarm, because I set my wrong, so thank you for waking me up. Today we focus on the history and education of Cajola. We talk to Elias, a college student from Cajola, that is studying for anthropology and art in Guatemala City. He took us up a mountain and most of the group was gasping for air except for Cassy, Elias, and me. He went over the history of the town of how it does not have a police station and other key department, but that it is still one of the safetest small town in the world. He also went over the way that he is going to apply anthropology in his town, but first he would have to go to other countries such as Chile or Argentina and learn how people use anthropology to better their communities. Elias also mentioned a book that he is going to publish this march with the help of Jonathan for kids to teach them his language of mo. Everytime he explains how Cajola is he tell them that it is very poor, but when they see it they observe the great looking architecture and disbelief his word. The true of the nature is that most of the houses are empty and most of the youth would prefer to migrate to the USA, which only a few make it. His goal is to keep the little kids studying in Cajola, without having to go to the USA for “el sueno americano” and that they should be of having “el sueno Cajola”. Also every year all the people of Cajola that are in the USA go to Atlantic for a soccer cup of their own.
Before we when to the chicken location, we had an amazing home cook arroz con carne and tortillas hechas en mano, which was like being at home. The second speaker was Juanita, a women that sells chicken eggs, in order to make a living. She mention a Sir that help them know everything there is to raise and keep the chickens and the eggs. After she started selling the eggs, a rival family started the same thing of selling eggs but cheaper. Juanita realize if she lower the prize to the rival, she would be broke. Within the month the other family was out of business. I could relate to the struggle that she had to go to because I also have pets that take over, but is not like 100+ chickens and other pets that I have to take over and feed, which is encouraging to see her and 4 more women doing this kind of work. On a side note, I found it amusing how the chickens poke one of our member foot, because of the sandal that she wore.
Finally we when to an elementary school to explore the teaching ways of living kids. The school was under construction and the kids were off school, so we were not able to interact with the children, but we did talk to the teacher and they even had a video to show us of what the kids learned. Also there was women making traditional quilts and bracelet that we were able to see how they are made. One of the ladies, Modesta, showed us how the big quilt machines are used to make the images and patterns on the bracelet which was amazing.
When we return to the Hostel we watch a documentary “Voice of the Mountain”, which dealt with the struggles of Guatemala in a new perspective instead of the typical violence and oppression way. This video also made me doubt my identity which many students face not just in the sense of country but also as an artist. I was also pretty shock how the soldiers kill little kid to save bullets from being wasted. Now I’m waiting for the volcanic hiking trip, till next time.