Photo of the Week
Guatemala 6-week
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    [post_content] => It seems like only yesterday that we arrived here in Cotzal *when in reality it was the day before yesterday*. Regardless, the point being we did not PHYSICALLY spend a whole lot of time here, but emotionally it seemed like a lifetime. I say this because we shared alot of memories here in our short time together in Cotzal, memories that were sweet and some that were bitter.
A few sweet memories were when we got a taste of the local foods by preparing the food ourselves *with alot of the Ladies of Cotzal's help of course*. The whole time we were shaping the tortillas and cooking them, the room was filled with smoke. The people on the outside watching in would laugh at those on the inside cooking the tortillas, while those on the inside would only respond in coughs, wheezes, and tears from the smoke *I really wish I had a picture but only our instructor Jacky took one, I really hope he has a chance to post it*. Another sweet memory was today when we worked down on the field weeding with hoes and machetes, we weren't all that great at it but when everyone gave it their all we really showed some results! Finally the bitter yet sweet memories were of when the ladies told their stories about the civil war, of the conflict and the bloodshed that changed their lives forever. However I stated it was still a sweet memory because even though each one of them lost a loved one, in the end they found each other and came together to form a union to keep each other going. It is a great story of struggle and the tenacity to go on even when there wasn't a whole lot of hope at first. This union they formed is presently known as Tejido Cotzal. GREAT! I typed so much for this group yak that I might not have left much ideas for my own personal yak! I have to fill a quota here!
    [post_title] => Group Yak, Cotzal
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Guatemala 6-week

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Group Yak, Cotzal

Leonard Zeng,Guatemala 6-week

Description

It seems like only yesterday that we arrived here in Cotzal *when in reality it was the day before yesterday*. Regardless, the point being we did not PHYSICALLY spend a whole lot of time here, but emotionally it seemed like a lifetime. I say this because we shared alot of memories here in our short […]

Posted On

07/18/14

Author

Leonard Zeng

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_content] => After settling into our homestays  with a welcoming dance, we started our next day off with tired, but eager faces. Our morning meeting consisted of finalizing our student roles and rainbow rules. Lunch came around, and we were to take part in the process of making it. We were making Boca de Olla, a traditional dish in Cotzal that consists of meat, guisquil, potato, and a red sauce. Like the others, I was completely amazed at how the local women could bear being in a smoke filled room with little to no air ventilation, just making tortillas. After lunch, we got to hear the firsthand experiences of some of the women who lived through the civil war in Guatemala. Cotzal was a town that suffered a lot during the civil war. There were about 1000 victims in Cotzal alone that were either killed, tortured, or "disappeared". The two women who presented were both named Catarina. They both shared how there was such a heavy military presence and how they both lost loved ones during this time. They talked about their struggles, and how they turned to weaving in order to make a living. Hearing about their stories gave me an even stronger sense of appreciation for the women in my life. The strength and the hope that these women shared with us through their stories reminded me that even with all my struggles and through all the losses I will still be able to rise again. Currently, these women are a part of a Cooperative called Cooperativa Tejidos Cotzal.  The work that they do inspires me to continue forward with my life, and work for a brighter future, and for that, I say thank you. Muchas Gracias.
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Guatemala 6-week

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Their Story

Joan BInalinbing,Guatemala 6-week

Description

After settling into our homestays  with a welcoming dance, we started our next day off with tired, but eager faces. Our morning meeting consisted of finalizing our student roles and rainbow rules. Lunch came around, and we were to take part in the process of making it. We were making Boca de Olla, a traditional […]

Posted On

07/18/14

Author

Joan BInalinbing

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_content] => Going into this trip, I never felt the need to fall in love with the country of Guatemala. Initially, this was a selfish trip; I thought that I was here gain valuable experiences and perspective. I never expected to connect to Guatemala, yet I can feel myself slowly embracing this radiant country. I am gradually making this country my own.

My Guatemala is the seemingly constant slapping of tortillas. It is always having dirt under my fingernails. It is chicken buses and instant coffee. It is marimba. It is corn fields and civil war. It is the smell of cows, and rain and sunblock. It is a beautiful blend of old and new. It is bucket showers and bug bites. It is the spirit and resilience of these people. It is market day and the smell of smoke in my hair. It is 12 laughing Dragons in the back of a pickup truck. It is brimming with color and life.
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Guatemala 6-week

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My Guatemala

Ariela Katzman- Jacobson,Guatemala 6-week

Description

Going into this trip, I never felt the need to fall in love with the country of Guatemala. Initially, this was a selfish trip; I thought that I was here gain valuable experiences and perspective. I never expected to connect to Guatemala, yet I can feel myself slowly embracing this radiant country. I am gradually […]

Posted On

07/18/14

Author

Ariela Katzman- Jacobson

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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77
Here some pictures of our amazing Trek of 4 Days Communities in which we walk during our trek First Day:   Todos Santos Cuchumatan to 7 Pinos Second Day:  7 Pinos to Laguna Magdalena Third Day:   Laguna Magdalena to Acul Fourth Day:  Acul to Nebaj [post_title] => A Picture say more than thousand words ! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => picture-say-thousand-words [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-07-18 22:58:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-19 04:58:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106119 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Picture of the Week [slug] => picture-of-the-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 483 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 483 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Picture of the Week [category_nicename] => picture-of-the-week [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/picture-of-the-week/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 150 [name] => Guatemala 6-week [slug] => guatemala-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 150 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 144 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 150 [category_count] => 144 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Guatemala 6-week [category_nicename] => guatemala-6-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/guatemala-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Picture of the Week, Guatemala 6-week )

Picture of the Week, Guatemala 6-week

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A Picture say more than thousand words !

I Team,Picture of the Week, Guatemala 6-week

Description

Here some pictures of our amazing Trek of 4 Days Communities in which we walk during our trek First Day:   Todos Santos Cuchumatan to 7 Pinos Second Day:  7 Pinos to Laguna Magdalena Third Day:   Laguna Magdalena to Acul Fourth Day:  Acul to Nebaj

Posted On

07/18/14

Author

I Team

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Saludos de Guatemala!
After a delightful marimba dance welcome party, the students have all settled into their new homestay families here in Cotzal.
Today concluded our 4-day trek that started in Todos Santos. According to the Mayan calendar, the energy of today is "Eb." It is the day of Destiny. The Eb guides us on the right way in order to accomplish our mission. The students overcame the physical challenges presented on the trek and really came together as a unit on this last day. As part of our check-in each day, the "shaman" reads out the energy of the day. Everything came together at the top of the mountain today when the shaman read out words such as teamwork, accomplishment of goals, journey... Drenched in sweat and surrounded by corn fields, it was a magical moment for the group.
This trek marked the start of the practicing phase of our course. Through rain and shine, working as a team and bodily discomfort, our group got their first taste of what it is like to be in the storming stage. After some guidance, we feel like they are rising up to the challenge and inching towards performing together. In the coming days, we look to transfer more accountability to the students while engaging them with the topics surrounding the civil war.
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Guatemala 6-week

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Update from I team

Jacky, Lila and Erick,Guatemala 6-week

Description

Saludos de Guatemala! After a delightful marimba dance welcome party, the students have all settled into their new homestay families here in Cotzal. Today concluded our 4-day trek that started in Todos Santos. According to the Mayan calendar, the energy of today is “Eb.” It is the day of Destiny. The Eb guides us on […]

Posted On

07/18/14

Author

Jacky, Lila and Erick

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_content] => It certainly took longer than expected; in fact it took so long that I started to think that it might never happen, or that it already had and I had failed to notice. But then it hit me. It was our third day of our trek to Nebaj, and we were a bit past halfway through our 22 kilometer day when it happened. We were hiking alone, and I could barely see the William in front of or behind me. I had taken my headphones out of my ears and I took a deep breath in through my nose. In entered a whiff of pig, cedar, and dirt all mixed with the taste of a sky about to break into rain.
I looked around me and I saw farmers picking at the ground, and a few women washing clothes in their front yards. I peered below into the valley from which we had just ascended, and was struck fully by its overwhelming beauty. We weren’t sitting in Todos Santos anymore, seeing the same few streets, and we certainly weren’t zooming through the country via precarious bus. Instead, for the past four days we’ve been trekking from one part of the country to another. Sure, we could have gotten there in a vehicle in a matter of hours, but I suddenly realized why we were doing it like this, or at least why I was. I was finally seeing this country that I’ve been in for two weeks. I was finally looking into its peoples’ eyes, into their houses, and stomping on their roads. I am finally looking closer, and, as silly as it may sound, I’ve finally arrived.
Over the past two weeks, I’d gotten flickers of this beautiful and flawed country, but I hadn’t yet taken a breath and really seen it, looked into its mountains and flowers, into its land, animals, and people. Once I did, I was filled with vigor and excitement to see more and do more, to experience fully this place I have just over a month left to explore, and I can hardly wait.
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Guatemala 6-week

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I’m Here

Henrietta Reily,Guatemala 6-week

Description

It certainly took longer than expected; in fact it took so long that I started to think that it might never happen, or that it already had and I had failed to notice. But then it hit me. It was our third day of our trek to Nebaj, and we were a bit past halfway […]

Posted On

07/17/14

Author

Henrietta Reily

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_content] => Dear Reader,

As the title suggests, I am writing this letter perched on a slope that feels like the edge of the world. A valley covered in a patchwork coat of cornfields fans out in front of me, and in its folds lie distant, twinkling roofs and houses that fit together like puzzle pieces. And beyond the valley...who knows? More mountains doused in clouds? Its mystical beauty remains a glorious secret to me.

Sitting at the edge of the world has literally and figuratively given me a new perspective on the world around me. I see how small and tiny and seemingly insignificant we are. Yet I know how grand and sweeping our actions can be. Such duality confuses and overwhelms me, but I have come to learn that finding reconciliation in this duality is at the heart of what it means to be a traveler and an explorer.

Reader, I am writing this letter to share what I have learned during this course about truly being alive in the fantastical world we live in. I urge you to look for the tiny beautiful things in your life, like the sight of 12 laughing Dragons in the back of a pick-up truck. I also ask you to gulp in the world around you with no hesitation. Feel your feet on the ground and be a part of the earth you walk on. Yesterday we walked 22 kilometers from Magdalena to Acul, and feeling not only the ground beneath my feet but the spirit with which I was walking transformed the trek from a strenuous chore to a cherished and valuable experience that will hold a special place in my memory forever.

Overall, just be where you are. Dragons has taught me to love every second of your life on earth because this is where you are and it is beautiful.

Peace and Love from the Edge of the World,

Anna
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Guatemala 6-week

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Letter at the Edge of the World

Anna Kasibhatla,Guatemala 6-week

Description

Dear Reader, As the title suggests, I am writing this letter perched on a slope that feels like the edge of the world. A valley covered in a patchwork coat of cornfields fans out in front of me, and in its folds lie distant, twinkling roofs and houses that fit together like puzzle pieces. And […]

Posted On

07/17/14

Author

Anna Kasibhatla

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-17 12:04:27
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    [post_content] => After four days, Im sitting at the edge of a mountain, glancing over the town of Nebaj. Frozen in this moment, I keep thinking that I did it. I finished our four day trek.

While writing this, my muscles are sore. Legs, arms, shoulders, hips, and my hands. All exhausted from carring so much weight. It makes me want to sleep and drift off into a deep slumber. I want to take a break and regain my energy. Knowing that this segment in time is coming to an end, I feel accomplished. But not accomplished in the sense that I finished a physical journey. No, the accomplishment I feel is realizing that I can keep going. While my body aches, my mind feels ambitious.

On this trek, I was tested. I had to go beyond my comfort to keep moving up the mountains. In pushing my limits, I was able to redefine them.

A part of me is sad that the trek is ending. Under the harsh conditions, I became more clear of how far I could go. When I sat down to look at Nebaj even closer, it dawned upon me that my trek is not ending. It will keep going. A trek isnt defined by the rugged travel. A trek is defined by being pushed into discomfort and finding a deeper meaning to oneself. In that sense, everything, long or short in distance, is a trek.

 
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Guatemala 6-week

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One More Turn

Will Campbell,Guatemala 6-week

Description

After four days, Im sitting at the edge of a mountain, glancing over the town of Nebaj. Frozen in this moment, I keep thinking that I did it. I finished our four day trek. While writing this, my muscles are sore. Legs, arms, shoulders, hips, and my hands. All exhausted from carring so much weight. […]

Posted On

07/17/14

Author

Will Campbell

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-17 12:02:34
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    [post_content] => Throughout this trek we have learned how to express our needs and our happy times. The first day was rough because people were unsure how to express themselves. We began to learn how to express ourselves through debriefing the first night after treking. At the break before lunch we began expressing ourselves by someone  expressing their frustration at not getting enough of a break, so we switched the order in which people were walking. Having someone be able to communicate their frustration and switching the order felt like we were breaking through wire. At the lunch on the second day we had a meeting which pushed me to begin talking to more people. On the third day we were forced to only talk and listen to one person for an hour.  Here I learned that asking people about their life is an easy way to deepen a relationship. We have also began doing 30 minutes of fame at night. This is where one person talks and answers questions solely about their life for 30 minutes. Communication is not only about listening is is also about talking. In order for communication to work well both parties have to be able to express when they are having fun and when they are in need of support.
    [post_title] => Communication skills
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Guatemala 6-week

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Communication skills

Hilary Kraus,Guatemala 6-week

Description

Throughout this trek we have learned how to express our needs and our happy times. The first day was rough because people were unsure how to express themselves. We began to learn how to express ourselves through debriefing the first night after treking. At the break before lunch we began expressing ourselves by someone  expressing […]

Posted On

07/17/14

Author

Hilary Kraus

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-17 12:00:47
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    [post_content] => It was a bittersweet feeling leaving Todos Santos. I carried my bags down the stairs and out into the streets. I looked back inside and saw my homestay mom standing before me, trying her best to not look as if she had just gotten out of bed. Then it hit me. It had only been a little over a week, but I had grown so close to my mom and the whole family. I felt a lump in my throat. I could see my mom looked sad and started forming tears in my eyes. "Muchas Gracias Por Todo!", I said to her, trying to hold back my tears. I gathered my bags from the street, said goodbye one last time, and gave her the tightest hug I could give. I walked away and looked back to see her standing in the doorway giving me the biggest smile she could. I may have had to take bucket showers and there may not have been a cover on my toilet, but what I had was all I could ask for. I had a sense of family, and I never felt more at home.
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Guatemala 6-week

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Family

Joan Binalinbing,Guatemala 6-week

Description

It was a bittersweet feeling leaving Todos Santos. I carried my bags down the stairs and out into the streets. I looked back inside and saw my homestay mom standing before me, trying her best to not look as if she had just gotten out of bed. Then it hit me. It had only been […]

Posted On

07/17/14

Author

Joan Binalinbing

Category

Guatemala 6-week

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