Stories from Guatemala
A Trip of a Lifetime
July 17, 2018 – Panajachel, Guatemala
Patricia lead this like she does year after year and we took turns making tortillas with quick, flip-flopping motion on our palms. Mine ended up jumping wildly from my long-fingered hands onto the floor. Every year that’s my traditional tortilla.
The new members of our group tried the traditional back-strap weaving, a work reserved for women in the culture. We would sometimes see women weaving like this when we looked into shaded parts of yards and homes as we traveled.
Members of our group dressed in the traditional Mayan dress tonight. The colors have meanings of deeper hue than their English description told. “Red is for the blood of our Mayan ancestors,” she said. There’s more to it, I’m sure.
The guide, Alex, said when the Spaniards came and destroyed everything, the surviving Mayans of this area, Iximche (pronounced: “eesh-eem-chay”) fled toward Lake Atitlan and the high regions by the lake. That’s you and those were your ancestors.
I’m sorry you had to go through that—to carry that chapter in your people’s story, your story. I’m sorry… I don’t want to see those chapters for anyone again…
I am sorry that even now some of you flee to find a refuge, a home, a safe place. I know there’s talk of fear of you, but you and I have made many chapters together now and I don’t believe those who say otherwise. You are beautiful and kind. You are able to see time in a way I cannot yet grasp, but want to learn. You know an art to life that would benefit so many of my friends at home who feel harangued by things of little value.
Let’s continue to write better stories together, you and me, you and us. Peace fills the heart!