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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010


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Theres something

about the music of this place

that makes me reconsider

Thers something

to the early energy of sunrise

and yoga on the damp roof

that sets the beauty of the day

Thers something

about the smooth pebbles of water

that pulls deep in your muscles

and release hesitation

Thers something

in volcanic erruptions

that meld with the sun in purity

and lick across the vista

What music

when water explodes over rocks

to clamp down on your back

your shoulders and hips

What music

in the clack of the gemela macademia

that brings me to life

with my hands in the dirt

Theres something

about the music of this place

that makes me want to sing

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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Theres Something

Delia LaJeunesse,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

Theres something about the music of this place that makes me reconsider Thers something to the early energy of sunrise and yoga on the damp roof that sets the beauty of the day Thers something about the smooth pebbles of water that pulls deep in your muscles and release hesitation Thers something in volcanic erruptions […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Delia LaJeunesse

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We are back from Tajumulco and beginning homestays in Pachaj. Here are a few photos from our recent adventures. Hope all is well back home!

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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From the clouds down to Pachaj

Luiregaron,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

We are back from Tajumulco and beginning homestays in Pachaj. Here are a few photos from our recent adventures. Hope all is well back home!

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Luiregaron

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    [post_content] => Right now we are sitting in a cloud, listing to the rain patter softly on roof and the gentle music of acoustic guitar. Today was the first day that we really spent time with natives, and the sun came out. After a traditional breakfast we split into groups and walked with a member of the Finca De Alianza through the Macadamia trees. The group I went with was led by Sarah, with a one year old daughter on her back called Sarita, an energetic five year old son named El Vin,and her mother, Catalina. When we got to a good spot, we each got a sack to put all of the fallen macadamia nuts. We soon realized that its a lot harder to gather the nuts than just carrying a heavy bag. Eachnut is hidden under the ground covering, usually spread out from each other, and on steep hills. Thats why it wasreally amazing to see Catalina, the close to seventy year old mother of twelve, bend down every couple of steps to gather another nut. Sarah wouldbend over with her baby on back, a macadamia nut fillingSaritas whole hand. After we were done, Sarah invited us to her home to sort the nuts we had collected into first and second class. She was happy to see that we almost filled a large bag, she estimated sixty pounds. Herhouse was a structure made primarily of bamboowith slanted metal roofs and dirt floors. Sarah shared a twin sized bed with both her baby daughter and son.We laterrealized that a group of four worked for an hour and barely filled a bag, yet each bag they collected is crutial to live off of and support their large families. This really opened my eyes to the amount of work they were used to doing verses the rewards they got in return. I learned that the people on the Finca could work so much harder than someone in the US and not even know how different their lifestyle would be if they worked with the same effort in the US.
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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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Macadamia Nuts

Sophie Samuels,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

Right now we are sitting in a cloud, listing to the rain patter softly on roof and the gentle music of acoustic guitar. Today was the first day that we really spent time with natives, and the sun came out. After a traditional breakfast we split into groups and walked with a member of the […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Sophie Samuels

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Today I had my first opportunity to speak with the local Guatemalans. I am not very good at spanish; if I wrote a book in spanish, it would basically consist of the characters saying hello and asking what time it is. Soit is easy to guess that my first encounter with a Guatemalan was awkward and hesitant. I was asked by an Regina, one of our instructors, to find out what time lunch would be. A little unsure about how toask this, but excited to use my little spanish knowledge, I walked to the kitchen in Finca Nueva Alianza, our home for the past few days. The cook, a young woman was standing at the door. The smell of warm chicken broth and freshly made tortillas wafted from the doorway,entrancing me for a quick moment. The waterfall hike earlier had left me hungry and craving the warm traditional Guatemalan lunch I knew would come soon. I timidly inquired what time lunch was at. The cook said something that sounded like mumbles to me. I began to smile, laughing at my own stupidity. What was probably a simple answer to my question, I could only understand as nonsense. Turning around in an act of desperation, I found Regina, also smiling at my pitiful attempts at spanish. She had a quick conversation with the cook, and informed me lunch would be soon.

I would like to say that after spending three nights in Guatemala, Ima pro at spanish. Needless to say... Im not. But I am slowly picking up on things. I am starting to understand some of the billboards on the side of the road, driving through the small cities. I understand a few more words when the seventeen year old boy who has been working his whole life explains about growing coffee and composting. I pick up a few words as another of my group members converses with a small boy while we collect macadamia nuts in the steep hills of the Finca. Im slowly getting to know the ways of Guatemala, and having a great time.

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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A Pathetic Attempt to Speak Spanish

Sarah Weiner,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

Today I had my first opportunity to speak with the local Guatemalans. I am not very good at spanish; if I wrote a book in spanish, it would basically consist of the characters saying hello and asking what time it is. Soit is easy to guess that my first encounter with a Guatemalan was awkward […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Sarah Weiner

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7/1/10

Today, we got up early to do yoga on the roof of the hotel and watch the sunrise over the Santa Maria volcano. The rainclouds of the previous days cleared away to reveal the stunning view of the surrounding countryside. From our vantage point atop the Finca, we could see all the way to the Pacific Ocean. After a traditional Guatemalan breakfast, we went to do our first service project, we helped the people of Finca Nueva Alianza collect macadamia nuts from thier orchards. the people of the Finca used to be exploited by the powerful plantation owner, they had to work in the fields for little or no pay and had no opportunity to send thier children to school. In 2002, the Patron defaulted on his debts and the finca was foreclosed by a Panamanian bank. With the help of a NGO, the villagers were able to buy the land form the bank and start thier own cooperative community. The people of the Finca grow coffee and macadamia nuts on the steep forested hillsides alongside the wild plants. they also make biodiesel and natural fertilizers and generate hydroelectricityfor the surrounding communities. We went to work with a woman named Sara and her mother, along with her two children, ages 5 and 1. Two hours of work yeilded about 70 pounds of fresh macadamias. before lunch, we visited the local school and whatched the villiage children playing Futbol on the flat decks used for drying coffee and macadamias. Later, we took a hike to a nearby waterfall. everyone went swimming and showered in the clean, warm water.

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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a day at the finca

Noah Lyon Limbach,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

7/1/10 Today, we got up early to do yoga on the roof of the hotel and watch the sunrise over the Santa Maria volcano. The rainclouds of the previous days cleared away to reveal the stunning view of the surrounding countryside. From our vantage point atop the Finca, we could see all the way to […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Noah Lyon Limbach

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    [post_content] => Today we spent our morning gathering macadamian nuts. After a sunrise yoga sesh, and a traditional guatemalan breakfeast, we got dressed and headed out to help the local families, all of whom are part of the Finca Nueva Alianza. I was excited to assist in the harvesting especially after having listened to the inspirational story about how the local community of 40 familys had been able to free themselves from the shackles of campesino life in Guatemala, and in turn had obtained their own land. It was a humbling experience working in the fields for over two hours, but only generating fifty cents for our labor. Those two hours revealed for me the harsh reality that in our modern world money is not distributed by the effort one puts forth, but rather the level of technology they possess. This had a profund impact on me, and I think it has revealed a whole new meaning to the word unfairness. I have more to say, but I want to get out from this Internet Cafe and go back to the panaderia we just visited. Hasta Luego. 
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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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Guatemala

Carson Land,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

Today we spent our morning gathering macadamian nuts. After a sunrise yoga sesh, and a traditional guatemalan breakfeast, we got dressed and headed out to help the local families, all of whom are part of the Finca Nueva Alianza. I was excited to assist in the harvesting especially after having listened to the inspirational story […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Carson Land

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    [post_content] => As mist surrounds our group the ever so present sound of the guitar sets the mood to a very mellow and quiet one. The first couple of days here have been extrodinary. Our group is finally becoming a family. My first impression of Guatemala is a quite humble one. The lush vegitation surrounds the lively region of Palmar, where many strive on the simpilist of pleasures. The children play futbol together near the school, enjoying themselves amonst the brightly colored shirts that where set out to dry in the one day of sun we have had. As my group walked together through Nueva Alianza, I couldnt help to relize that hapiness sometimes comes in the simpilist of forms, and that hard work builds tight communities just like Nueva Alianza. 
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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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Where There be Tight Community

Jamaal DeGraffe,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

As mist surrounds our group the ever so present sound of the guitar sets the mood to a very mellow and quiet one. The first couple of days here have been extrodinary. Our group is finally becoming a family. My first impression of Guatemala is a quite humble one. The lush vegitation surrounds the lively […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Jamaal DeGraffe

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Written fromthe porch hammockin the hotel of Nueva Alianza-

This is by far one of the most beautiful and diverse places I have ever experienced. Nature has blessed the residents of Nueva Alianza with lushous trees, vibrantly colored flowers, and more types of fruit than I could ever remeber. I have been given a new respect for everything I eat and drink. After more than an hour of scouring the ground for macidamia nuts, i was sure that if i had been working i would have earned atleast 10$. When we returned to the village and weighed our bags, i was informed that I would have only recieved about 1.25$(in american dollars)! It was eye-opening to learn how hard there men and women have to work and how little they get in return. These locals have been so kind to us and even fed us in their homes one night, but they still only earn about 60$ for 2 weeks of work. It saddens me when I hear their stories of persectution by the goverment and members of higher classes. It really shows that even for the hardest working and kindest people, money really has a huge influence in Guatamala. Not to end on a sad note, we went on an amazing waterfall hike today. The waterfall was gorgous and even though it was cold it was so much fun to swim in! Now the rain is falling, and its steady song on the metal roof reminds me that dinner should be soon and i should get ready.

Adios!

-Allie

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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the nature of nueva alianza

allie phocas,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

Written fromthe porch hammockin the hotel of Nueva Alianza- This is by far one of the most beautiful and diverse places I have ever experienced. Nature has blessed the residents of Nueva Alianza with lushous trees, vibrantly colored flowers, and more types of fruit than I could ever remeber. I have been given a new […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

allie phocas

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As I stepped out of the doors from baggage claim, the sound of music reached my ears. Filled with rythm and soul, it ran through my veins with energy, appearing to speak its own language. Our group seemed to come alive with the melody, and all of the hours of travel appeared to fade from faces. As the stress was dimmed, new sounds, smells. and sights rushed in. Bright oranges and reds popped before my eyes, while the aroma of a new place reached my nostrils. I could feel my heart race with excitement as I was introduced to this new world.

It´s a remarkable thing to experience anything for the first time, especially, I feel, a new destination. Upon entereing Guatemala, I was immersed in a whole mirage of new emotions and senses. At times, this awareness can be overwhelming. However, in that same sense,it can bea fulfilling experience to be aware and part of your environment. So far, I believe my Guatemala experience has been filled with many first impressions, all contrastingly different. Moments of excitement and energy have greated me, later to be replaced with moments of peace and calm. I hope to expand my realm of comfort, yet retain that sense of peace as well.

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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guatemala!

michaela dungey,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

As I stepped out of the doors from baggage claim, the sound of music reached my ears. Filled with rythm and soul, it ran through my veins with energy, appearing to speak its own language. Our group seemed to come alive with the melody, and all of the hours of travel appeared to fade from […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

michaela dungey

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    [post_date] => 2010-07-02 00:00:00
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Hi Everyone!

After a wonderful few days at Finca Nueva Alianza we are headed to the summit of the highest point in Central America: Volcan Tajumulco! We leave tomorrow morning at 5:30am and will be returning Sunday afternoon. Then we are off to Pachaj for our first week of homestays and language classes. More to come soon...hope all is well in the States!

Abrazos,

Luispe, Regina, and Aaron

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

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Vamos a Tajumulco!

Luiregaron,Guatemala: Mundo Maya 4-week "B", Summer 2010

Description

Hi Everyone! After a wonderful few days at Finca Nueva Alianza we are headed to the summit of the highest point in Central America: Volcan Tajumulco! We leave tomorrow morning at 5:30am and will be returning Sunday afternoon. Then we are off to Pachaj for our first week of homestays and language classes. More to […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Luiregaron

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