Thursday, August 13, 2009
Guatemala Journey: Part IV
What was most evident to me in Guatemala, besides the lush fertility of the land, was the close knit families. Everywhere we went mothers and fathers held their children in their arms or by the hand if they could walk. They may be poor, but they are not lacking in love or pride!
Even in a fireman's parade, many participants brought their kids dressed in miniature uniforms (photo, right)
Nowhere was this more obvious than in the rural indigenous MAM community we had the honor to visit in Espunuja.
We arrived atop a long winding road that was barely navigable by our van and most of our group had to hike up to reduce the weight of the van.
A collective of women and children who had come together to greet us and share with us taco making and their weaving. They prayed with us and for us and we played games together - the Mam and English versions of Simple Simon.
This very unique visit had been specially arranged for our delegation ny Karen Rotabi of VCU and and Hilda of the Highland Support Project which is helping these women sell their weavings.
The Mam women are literally and figuratively marginalized in their remote mountain village with no running water or electricity. They wash their hand woven clothes in communal water troughs.
They made us hot chocolate and gave us gifts of lilies wrapped in placemat size weavings that likly took them a month or more to make.
Women of such diverse cultures, without even speaking to one another (some of them and some of us spoke Spanish, but the majority of them did not)...
but we shared laughter and they looked with intense interest on pictures we had brought of our families.