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Spanish Classes

sunny 23 °C
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In the morning we have cultural competency class where we learn about the history of Guatemala, Mayan culture, and the politics of Guatemala. I learned that the beautiful brightly colored clothing that you see the indigenous women wearing is not traditional; it was another way that conquistadors separated the tribes for identification and mistreatment, the indigenous people used to only wear white (which is interesting, as in my yoga – we only where white also). I also learned that Guatemala has a long history of being taken over by either foreigners or fascists who all exploited indigenous people. There was a brief stent in 1884 where Germany actually helped Guatemala grow in technology, faming, and agriculture in exchange for minerals/other goods, but this progress was quickly blunted when the U.F.C.O began to use/divide and destroy the farmlands, leading to a large amount of birth defects from pesticides and the eventual decline in technology/science with the importance placed on production over all else. Eventually, in 1996, Guatemala became independent of military occupation after the civil war and has been playing catch-up in science and technology since then.

As for more positive things, Anikka and I walked to Quetzaltrekkers and booked a trip to climb the Santa Maria volcano this Saturday. It is an all day affair, the elevation goes from 9,000 to 13,000 feet, so it will be quite a climb.

My Spanish classes in the afternoon are going well. They are four hours long, and my brain feels like it is going to explode after about 2 hours. My teacher, Marilou is very conversational and speaks no English, so it is truly an immersive experience. The 5 weeks of immersion I did in Mexico have really helped me. I didn’t realize until I came here and was able to converse with my home stay family and in the town without issue. My goal is to be able to understand more complex conversations at more rapid paces.

A few of us students are going running tomorrow early in the morning at a local track and then for the morning, we are going to build stoves in a rural town. These stoves prevent burns of the children, infections of the lungs of everyone in the family, and use half the amount of wood that a non-enclosed stove does. I am very excited to get my hands dirty. Then we will return for four hours of Spanish in the afternoon.

Adios (to god!) - Drea

Posted by dredayhurray 19:31 Archived in Guatemala Tagged guatemala mayan volunteerism racism stoves colonialism

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