$3 a day

From the Journal of: Erica

8/7/11

We WORKED yesterday.  It was tough and dirty and smelly at times, but it feels good to do this work.  We are sore and bleary-eyed, but we have a day off today.  We are headed to the market in about 10 minutes.

The reality of life for most Comalapans is slowly seeping and sinking into my being.  Yesterday, we bought snacks for the group at a corner store.  We bought 14 packs of cookies, 3 bags of popcorn, and 2 giant juice boxes for 25 Quetzals, which is equal to about $3.00.  On our walk back to the hotel with two bags full of food, it hit me that most people here make 20Q a day.  Colonialism and systematic oppression leave almost no employment opportunities for the folks in Comalapa.  The school we worked on today will provide traditional Mayan education to the indigenous people of Comalapa and will also teach marketable sustainable skills.  This school will create an educated and empowered citizenry who can make changes for the whole community and the environment, from the ground up.  There is great hope in Comalapa.  I am doing my best to absorb it from everyone around me.  There are so many children here.  I love imagining the life they will have if they get the chance to attend the school that we are building.  The people here are filled with joy.  I am learning to embody that spirit more wholly.

Comalapa, from the roof of our home.

We will not be in a vehicle again until we leave on Friday, which I believe is the absolute best part of this whole journey.  The best way to get to know a place is by walking it.  The group is doing exceptionally well.  Most are using their Spanish at every single opportunity.  Everyone is excited to go to the market and see the art that Comalapa is famous for.  It is a town of weavers and painters and the landscape is rife with inspiration.  We will write again today after our adventures in town.  Thank you for reading.  We’ve had about 300 visitors to this blog each day.  Please re-post our website on your facebook so we can share our journey with more people.

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2 Responses to $3 a day

  1. Lynne Pernell says:

    What an amazing adventure to experience a totally different culture AND make a difference in the lives of the people in Comalapa:::))) Absolutely love reading the journal entries and seeing the pictures…take MORE pics!! Reading about your journey is the next best thing to being there…what’s the weather like??
    much love, Erica’s mom

  2. Kunthary says:

    Congratulation Erica!! Your determination and hard work finally paid off. What an amazing opportunity this for you, but especially for the young people who are with you. There is no better way to teach our young people about compassion, global citizenship and self-awareness, except through this first hand experience.
    To the rest of the crew I’m happy to hear that you are putting your Spanish to good use, soak in as much as you can and believe me you will come back to the States a different person. I love reading your journal. I can’t wait to see all of the pictures.
    Take care and be safe
    Kunthary

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