From the Journal of: Kara
Market Day: 8/7/11
Today the Get Fresh Crew experienced firsthand an average day at a market in Guatemala. It was a new challenge we had to overcome since none of us quite knew what we were getting ourselves into. Walking through the market I saw so much of the Guatemalan culture firsthand: hand-woven fabrics, hard labor put into their crops, families sitting in the blazing sun waiting for people to buy their hand-made crafts. It was just so eye-opening for me.
Also, the dumps hit home for me. After I saw a dead cat floating through the illegal dump site it really cleared up my view about how bad the trash system is. It made me remember part of why we are here doing what we are doing.
Now back to the market… It was overwhelmingly amazing. I was tempted with the sweet smells from the vendors but knew my stomach wouldn’t be able to handle it. I did buy a – basket though, walking around with it made me feel like I am blending into their culture and that excites me. 🙂
From the Journal of: Widly
Today was really exciting. We spent the day at the market in Comalapa, Guatemala. First we had to exchange our American money to Guatemalan money (Quetzals). To our surprise we received a lot of money in the exchange. For $20, we received 180 quetzals. We splurged like there was no tomorrow. We ended up buying a lot more than we thought. The marketplace was beautiful. It was like a flea market but better. We bought hand-made materials that would normally be $60-80 in America but here we bought them for 40 Quetzal, which turns out to be a little more than $4 in American dollars. It was really tiring, but it turned out to be educational and fun.
Today we went to visit the illegal and legal dumps in the town. To our surprise, the Guatemalan people throw their trash in the ravines. What was horrifying was smelling and seeing the filth. What was even more disturbing was seeing a dead cat in the dump. What seemed disgusting was finding out that the same ravine they use to throw out trash is the water source for drinking water, washing clothes, and cooking. This illegal dump was nothing compared to the legal dump in the middle of the town. When we got there, the place was disgustingly, horrifically, disturbingly stomach-turning. What once seemed to look like a beautiful wild jungle with strong, tall, green trees, a waterfall, and a stream is now a trash-filled smelly land. The Guatemalans have nowhere to put their trash and do not have a strong social services from the government to help take care of the water system or trash system. This is causing hygiene problems, air pollution, and sickness. In the US, rarely do we ever think “What am I gonna do with my trash today? Where should I dump it?” All this is already done for us. Others lack that opportunity and we take it for granted.
From the Journal of: Faetitia
Aug 7, 2011
It’s been a longgggg day. But I can’t lie; it was also pleasant. I went to the market and bought $40 worth of stuff. It was quality handmade items. My most intimidating experience was when I went to the bank to change my American dollars into Quetzals and this security guard greeted me at the door with a 3-foot gun on his side and bullets on his waist saying take a seat in Spanish. I will never forget that.
BUT AT THE MARKET TODAY..
I bought about 15 souvenirs and got to see the illegal dumps in Comalapa and they were absolutely filthy. I saw a dead cat lying in the river. It was a legitimate mountain of trash on both sides. The smell was unbearable and flies were everywhere. There was another dump we saw: the legal dump. It’s ironic because the legal dump is still detrimental to people’s health. It looked like it was meant to be a beautiful rainforest but instead turned into an infestation of garbage due to lack of care from the government.
On the other hand, me, Kara, Kadine, Widly, and Yvesha made an amazing dinner today.
Arroz con frijoles verdes
Arroz blanco con tomatos y cebollas
Mangoes, papayas y pinas
Overall I had a good day but I’m really tired so til next time. =)