On day 6 we visited the town of Cajola, where we spoke with Eli, leader of a youth group ‘’Grupo Cajola’’, visited a local chicken farm, and visited the local school and weaving factory.
Eli spoke mainly about the working of the Cajola society. He explained the history and the tragedies of the small town. What was most significant to me about his talk was his explanation of the existence of self-gov in Cajola. Apparently, there is no police in Cajola due to an incident in which 12 police officers were murdered. Contrary to popular belief, Eli explained that Cajola is more peaceful and crime is very rare.
Next on the agenda, we had lunch with Caryn, a American woman who supports Grupo Cajola, supported a group of women weavers, and supported the foundation of a local Remegilia Italia elementary school. For those who don’t know, a Remegilia school is one in which the curriculum is built by the students. Caryn took us to the school where the teachers gave us a presentation of how the school works and a tour of the weaving production.
Caryn also took us to a local chicken farm, which was significant because the farm was founded by a group of local women who invested all their money is beginning their small business, which is now on the verge of booming. They are a symbol of local entrepreneurship and independence in the local region.
Cajola had much to teach – they are a very autonomous, sovereign region of Guatemala that seems to be very independent of the Guatemalan government; or at least has the potential to be.