Guatemala 1

Trip Start Jul 20, 2004
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Trip End Jul 20, 2014


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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Friday, July 23, 2004

Hola from Antigua,
4 days into my stay in Guatemala and I am close to say "I am staying here". My servas host picked me up in Guatemala city (and i was happy about this) and off we went to Antigua, a lovely old colonial town that used to be the capital of Guate until the earthquake of 1773. After that, Guate city became the capital. Antigua was listed a world heritage site in 1979. I spent my first three days building a school in (or better preparing building materials for the school)in La Cumbre, a small mountain village 2 hours from Antigua. Thanks to my servas host who introduced me to PAVA, the organization that helps build schools and bridges (http://www.pavafoundation.org/aboutus.html), I hooked up with a group of wonderful people from the US who came to Guatemala for a week to donate school supplies and help building this school. Most of the people in the group, all members of faith at work,have been to Guatemala many times. This was the best start of my travels - working with wonderful people, getting to know the real Guatemala and enjoying the hospitality of the local people.

The country is beautiful - lush greens, red soil, vast areas of cultivated land, primitive houses, smiling people, colorful and distinctive clothes of the Mayan village people, creatively painted buses that go into all directions (the exhaustion is terrible though and neither the government nor the municipalities have a solution as to how to combat the exhaustion problem).

I have not hiked a volcano yet and may wait until I get to Xela. I am leaving on Sunday to go to Xela and should start my classes on Monday. As internet cafes are plentiful here, I should be able to write a weekly update. If you don't hear from me in over 2 weeks, you can start worrying about me. The number of the German embassy in Guatemala is:
20 calle 6-20 zona 10
Edificio Plaza Maritima
2do Nivel
Guatemala City 01010
Tel: + (502) 3646700
Fax: + (502) 3336906
E-mail: embalemana@intelnet.net.gt
Emergency phone number:
Tel: + (502) 7095004

That's it for now, I will write more next week from Xela.
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