MPI UGA in Guatemala: First Day Wrap-Up

It’s hard to believe that yesterday we were sitting at home, anxiously awaiting our trip, and wondering what we were going to encounter. Flash-forward to today and we can’t even imagine not being here. The past day has opened our eyes to such happiness, culture, poverty, and pride than we could have ever imagined. Last night we spent our time in the beautiful city of Antigua. The cobblestone streets and multicolored buildings are so hard to describe and must be seen first-hand to truly appreciate its beauty. We left Antigua early this morning for our 3-hour microbus ride to Sololá, an amazing lake town populated by indigenous people. We stopped at our hostel and were extremely surprised by the INCREDIBLE view out of our window. The town is situated next to the lake with pristine views of three volcanoes. 

After eating a fabulous breakfast of fresh fruit and pancakes cooked for us by the hostel, we headed out to town and then off to the Cooperativa school in Chaquijyá. We were greeted with open arms by the community and began lacquering the tables and chairs made especially for the library, cleaning and painting the walls of the library, and interacting with the amazing people that call Cooperativa their home. After a lunch packed by the hostel, we finished up our work for the day and walked around the town of Chaquijyá and had the opportunity to experience the reality of rural Guatemala. It was more than eye opening and truly an experience we will never forget. After climbing the hill back to the highway, we hopped into a crowded microbus- crowded is a complete understatement. In a bus for about 12 people, we piled in 28 people. It was cramped to say the least!

After a short ride, we stopped back in Sololá and walked around the town, grabbed some street food, and finally made it to the Manna house! Kat and Dana surprised us with a DELICIOUS blackberry and mango pie, and we all chatted and got to know each other better. We headed back to the hostel for a dinner of spinach and egg pie, sauced vegetables, and corn tortillas. We all caught up about the day and expressed our each individual views of Guatemala so far. Our journey has just begun, but from the mere day we have spent here, we know it will be life changing.

Peace, Love, and Manna

Ellie and Daniel