Posted by May Wright at 11:29 am  Guatemala
Jun 282015

I made it through a whole 5 day work week! Yay! If you’re wondering about the salsa lesson from Wednesday, it went alright. I think Frank is a good teacher, but I decided I’m not really interested in perfecting my technique haha…

Today, I took my Spanish class early, at 8 so that I could do a walking tour at 9:30. I am still really liking my Spanish classes, but I’m starting to wonder if Nery realizes what he says sometimes. Like today, he wrote two similar sentences on the whiteboard and said, “This is correct, and this is also correct. The way that you said it is not correct.” I just laugh.

The walking tour was great. A woman named Elisabeth Bell leads it and has been leading it for years. She has lived in Antigua for over 40 years, so she knows a lot and really her passion is keeping culture, history, and architecture alive and intact here. She’s led several restoration projects in various areas, has written books about Antigua, and keeps up with what’s going on in Guatemala. She even filled us in on some of the politics. Apparently there will be an election this year. I say apparently because I saw tons of billboards with pictures on the way from Guatemala city to Antigua. People can vote without being literate – hence the pictures.

We of course looked at several churches. It’s really interesting how many churches are well… topless. They have no roofs because they were damaged by earthquakes and never rebuilt. The church on the central square was abandoned when the capital was moved to present day Guatemala city. It was later destroyed by an earthquake, and now you can walk through what remains: tall walls with no ceilings. Today’s beautiful blue skies and white clouds really made for an amazing effect.

We also took a look at Guatemala’s Jade history and present day jewelry business. Jade can be found here. There are lots of Mayan artifacts made from Jade. Right nearby is a museum hotel complex with stunning courtyard gardens where they hold weddings (which Elisabeth says funds the museums and historic preservation of the land on which it’s built). There is a “church” there too, but again, it is not the typical colonial era cathedral you might think of… with a ceiling and all.

I found a sandwich for lunch and went to work for the rest of the afternoon. Nothing exciting at work. I’m definitely feeling more comfortable though every day.


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