Ingredientes para salsa.

Ray watching the cooking lesson.


From the journal of: Ray

Today’s activities were definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I learned to make different kinds of salsa. Roberto is a sixteen year old boy who wants to be a professional cook. He taught the group every step to make salsa. Some of the ingredients are very unique but might be easy to find in the local supermarkets. I can’t wait for a chance to buy the different ingredients; I definitely have to try these recipes. The salsas are very delicious and the ingredients seem simple to find. My stay in Comalapa is great so far. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s activities.

Ray playing games with the alumnos of Tecnico Maya.

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Cob Time

August 9, 2012

From the journal of, Kara Blackwell

Today was cob making time and I loved getting dirty with my team and the members of Long Way Home. Coming to Guatemala I gained a fresh outlook on how I could live my life, and getting super filthy with mud and not caring one bit shows the progress I am already making while here. Another great thing about today was my walk home because the weather was breezy and made the walk home way more comfortable and enjoyable.

It saddens me that tomorrow is going to be Friday… meaning that we only have 2.5 full days here. I cannot believe this trip is going by so quickly and I am no where near ready to leave just yet. However, every good thing must come to an end eventually… I am just glad I am able to take memories back with me that will last a lifetime. But ending on a brighter note: WE GET TO GO TO THE MARKET MANAÑA!!!! Can’t express how excited I am for this day to finally arrive.. yay!

Time to eat some Guatemalan street food!

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Cob Galore !

August 9, 2012


From the Journal of : Kim

Today was the first day of real hard work and I have to say I accepted the challenge ! When we first got there I expected another chill day of cutting bottles and/or collecting rocks but we got to make cob ! The actual process of making cob was tedious. Lots of water, clay, and pine needles. I had to take numerous trips back and forth towards the pipe for water and Im sure a couple oof drops of water kanded near my lips but I was sure to spit it out immediately.

All in all today was good and we got to do real work. I cant wait to go to the market tommorrow however, goodies for everyone !

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Radical Love

August 8, 2012

From the journals of: D’Lynn and Erica

Every night we meet as a group and Erica reads from “I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala.”  We are moved each night as she speaks the powerful stories that the indigenous-activist-feminist  community organizer shares with us.  The students have been thoughtful and reflective about the ways that they understand the inequalities, systems and injustices that have led to this divided space in Comalapa.   The students are asking pressing questions to try to understand the history of the people, the silenced genocide that took place, and the ways that it should, and must, inform our present and future.  Recognizing the past, present and the future as needed ingredients for a well balanced salsa is something that we should all embrace.  Today, the students learned to make multiple salsas from a wise and gentle 16-year-old with a story much like many of ours/theirs.  Roberto’s desire to share his knowledge and skills ran deep within him as he remained focused during our group’s constant stream of questions, comments, thoughts, and cultural comparisons.  His salsas were delicious and his company was energizing and calming at the same time.  The salsas he created were as diverse as our group.  Some were spicy and others were unpredictably flavorful, surprising us by the difference between their smell and taste.  He emphasized the importance of making food from whole ingredients and using proper technique even if you can’t get the exact ingredients you’d like.  Roberto cooking salsas on the plancha (traditional wood-fired stove) is a radical act. He said he is only one of two men in Guatemala willing to break stereotypical gender roles to cook food, a role typically reserved for women.  Roberto has been cooking since he was 9 and I can’t help but think of the children of Tecnico Maya many of whom  understand the gender roles and some of whom are already question them.  Tonight’s reading from Rigoberta Menchu’s autobiography included a section about how during the civil conflict, gender roles disappeared as the communities fought to preserve their land, rights, and culture.  Whether it’s making salsa, defending your land, or playing blob tag, the lines that divide us must be blurred to create solutions and progress.

“Don’t wait for strangers to remind you of your duty, you have a conscience and a spirit for that.  All the good you do must come from your  own initiative.” -Popol Vuh

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August 8, 2012

From the journal of: Kortaysa

Today was a very interesting day. I played with the kids and I learned some new games.  We taught the children some of our American games. Later, I was taught how to make several different sauces which will come in handy. I appreciate how warm and happy everyone was today, and in all I really enjoyed myself.

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Insight on Comalapan Kids

August 8, 2012

From the Journal of: Melissa

Today was awesome. We did a lot of activities and I had a lot of fun. We played a lot of games and I learned a lot. The games were in English, Spanish and the native language of the Comalapan people. I was really happy with the way the kids responded to us. They were all welcoming. They were also eager to learn which encouraged me  to be more engaged. I also feel like I had the chance to immerse myself in their culture. I was also surprised to see how good the kids are at playing soccer. Even the youngest one could kick a ball as far as I could. The kids’ warm attitude toward learning and playing make me more eager to help and learn.

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Day with the kids


August 8, 2012

From the Journal of: Yamaris

Today was very fun. The kids had a field day and we played games with them. It was cute seeing the games that they grew up with and it was fun teaching them the games we grew up with. All together I was surprised because some of the games we thought they wouldn’t know they did in fact know. We played telephone in three languages: English, Spanish and Kaqchikel.   One message made it all the way through without being altered. We learned their version of duck, duck, goose.This experience made me glad that what I am doing is helping the youth do something in their lives.  I`m glad to know the students who will benefit from the school I am building and actually put real faces to the cause.

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