This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Here is the last post for this trip. This morning after breakfast I hugged my way out the door of my homestay, hiked to the dock, and took a lancha across the lake to Panajachel where I shopped and people watched before my share shuttle left at noon. As always, the trip took longer than the advertised 3.5 hours but there were some interesting folks to share the ride and I am experiencing (for this trip) a rare dose of privacy at cute little Villa Toscana near the airport in Guatemala City. I fly toward home in the morning, so ready.

I have chosen a small collection of photos to show the progress on the little home ('Ti Wachooch' in Tz'utujil) that Mike and are having built in San Pedro on the top of the home of our friends, Mynor and Josefa. It will also be a base for Beca Project meetings, workshops, tutoring sessions, guest speakers, and conversation groups. I have really loved checking in every day or 2 and will miss that. I am very pleased with the progress, the quality of the work, and the decisions we have made, some of which are noted below.

Here is the view from the entry area in mid July,

in early August,

and yesterday.

The sitting area and kitchen in mid July

and yesterday. Note the mosaic tiles which will also top the tiles in the bathroom. You can see the edge of the sink on the right; the stove will fit in the opening and the fridge will go to the left of the counter.

The bathroom in mid July

and earlier this week. Note the floor tiles which will also grace the bedroom, sitting area, and kitchen floors. The base cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen will have wooden doors and shelves.

Outside in mid July

and earlier this week - roof details and railing.

The stairs also have new railings but have yet to be tiled.

Here's the tile for the entry area, stairs, and small balcony (nonslip).

The dining area will have this wood flooring. We have also ordered (from the same carpenter shop) wood doors and windows, a small dining table with 4 chairs, a bar shelf under the kitchen window with 3 stools (similar to the chairs but taller), additional kitchen shelving, 2 small tables for the sitting area, a large built-in for the bedroom, and a headboard with 2 nightstands.

Here's the color I chose for the walls, beginning with the stairways and including the entry area and the interior walls.

We will also add a shade cover for part of the terrace above. I was thinking palm roofing but was advised that it wouldn't hold up in the wind as well as plastic or clay tiles. The tiles will be more attractive and cooler than plastic so they're the winners.

Next trip we will have this nice new place to live plus a perfect base for Beca Project meetings, study groups, activities, and fiestas. Also this gorgeous view (I wanted to show 360 degrees but 240 degrees was all my iphone would allow).

I am very grateful to Mynor and Josefa for their willingness to enter into this joint venture. Sharing space and time with their family is part of what we look forward to most.

You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.
Happy trails!


Over the years I have stayed with 5 different host families in San Pedro and have loved them all. This trip will be my last in a host family here - our apartment will be finished before our next visit - and is my 2nd with the family of María and Manuel.

Here is the lane leading to the house; when I turn right past the corn patch...

the house comes into view. My room has a diamond window on each end.

Much of my entertainment as well as Spanish practice occurs during mealtimes. Pictured below are María and daughter Adamary with some of the other students living in the home; James, 2nd to right, is living with the family for 6 months.

Here are some of the views from the level of my room and the rooftop above. 

Note that the corn seen below is gone in the view with the neighbor's cat - the strangely dry weather over the last month has meant a sadly unproductive crop. The impact will be felt most strongly by the poorest families - more limited work and higher corn prices.

Super moon with lightning followed by 2 of the many gorgeous sunrise blessings.

You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.
Happy trails!

Friday, August 15, 2014


So many beautiful flowers; 1st, at the Cooperativa school...

...and then around town.

A local art gallery has a program for kids; Beca Project sponsor and friend Kim sponsors a student in this program and was helping the day I visited.

A new mural on the way.

I enjoyed watching the creation of this beautiful mural of local midwife legend Doña Chona.

And there she is!

You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.
Happy trails!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


This post and the next 1 are an attempt to fit in a few more photos of my time in San Pedro, loosely organized into themes.

So much work happens here that goes unnoticed or unphotographed, but the photos below will hopefully project a sense of how hard many San Pedranos work, regardless of size, age, comfort, or renumeration.

Selling medicinal herbs, demonstrating the cough they'll cure.

This expat, Mike, volunteers to teach English to students of all ages at the Cooperativa school 6 days/week.

And now for a more playful side of San Pedro - an obsession with KITES. I pass this wall several times/day and can see it from my homestay.

You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.
Happy trails!