Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Site for Sore Eyes

If you were coming to Guatemala, would you pack a coat, long-johns, wool socks, scarves, and beanies? Well, I would if I were coming to visit me! I got assigned this week! For security purposes, I am more or less prohibited from giving away my exact whereabouts on the interweb for all of the world to possibly Google, but a few minor details won’t hurt. I am going to an area of Guatemala known as Huehuetenango, (pronounced: Way-way-teh-non-go). West in the highlands, Huehue, as it is commonly referred to in the cool circles, actually borders Mexico. The population is of Mayan decent, specifically Mam (there are 22 different Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala), but where I’m going the language was unfortunately lost generations ago, which is fortunate for me because my Spanish still has a ways to go and I don’t think I could handle anymore languages at the time being. My site is around 10,500 ft in elevation, and has been described to me as a mixture between Scotland and the moon… I’m sure I’ll understand what they’re talking about when I go there for my site visit next week. They did tell me that I’ll be able to see basically all of Guatemala, a truly breathtaking view, and not because of the altitude, although I have a feeling that it may be a contributing factor. I’ll have electricity, access to a community water faucet (where I can fetch my bath water and any other water I may need (besides pure drinking water which I will buy in bulk elsewhere)), and I’ll be renting a room with a family that will share a kitchen (stove and sink), and bathroom (latrine) with me. There will be one volunteer within a thirty minute walk working on the same projects as me, and we are both replacing volunteers from the same general area, which means we will already have some sort of established groups and projects to jump into. In fact we are following up about ten years of Peace Corps service in the same area. We will be working with women’s groups, expanding compost production, introducing new vegetables and medicinal plants into family gardens, creating reforestation nurseries, and teaching health and nutrition. I’m very exciting to begin my service as a volunteer, it’s a surreal feeling all over again and it’s hard to believe that the time is already here. Training has flown by. I am going to miss my current host family, they have been absolutely wonderful, but I am ready for the next step and the challenges it will bring.


  1. Exciting news!! I would have never thought there was mountains that high there. I need to get out an atlas or google Central America! It is so neat that you are so excited and will be following others. I know you will help so many!
    We will continue to pray for you!
    Love and smiles,
    Tommy and Phyllis

  2. Hope your next stop is all you are hoping for and more. We pray God's blessings on your work. We pray for your health know that you will touch many souls while in Guatemala. Love, Carole & David

  3. Thinking of you today!! Hope all is going well. I know you are going to miss your host family and Peace Corps sitemates, but I'm sure you are going to make some fantastic new friendships in your new site. I knew when you were born that you would never meet a stranger!! (You had the hospital staff wrapped around your little finger:-) Read your bible...all the answers are in there! Love ya, Mom

  4. Hi son, it was good to hear your voice. I am sending you some good ole Texas beef jerky made here in the county. It might be the only protein you get for a while.....Ha! I need to know where to send it when you get your new address. Call me. When I get some venison processed I will also send you some great summer sausage. Just a little treat from home. Ditto to all that Mom said. LOVE YA, MAN. DAD.