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, October 31, 2015


I had a fun, eventful week. Monday through Friday Mynor and I hosted ice cream fiestas for the Beca Project students and some of their family members, 13-14 families per evening. It was a fun way to get to see all of the kids and to share Ti Wachooch and the rooftop terrace. I'm including just a few sample photos here and will eventually upload all the photos from these events onto my Flickr photo site.

Not everyone showed up at once - there are 7 or 8 families in each of these photos.

It also gave Mynor a chance to speak with them individually about grades, needs, and future plans - many of the kids are graduationg from Basico (like 9th grade) and are selecting a Diversificado program (like a combination high school/trade school) or are graduating from a Diversificado program and continuing into university.

As it got dark we moved inside.

After the ice cream and time to talk we took turns in the 'photo booth' which was a really engaging, hilarious way to get to know people better.

I'm wearing (in addition to the sparkles) a traditional San Pedrano-style huipil, a lovely gift.

Friday morning Mynor, Griselda (another Cooperativa School director) and I attended the Basico graduation at the Luisa y Benjamin Paul School. We had 11 students graduating - I was simply bursting with pride but had nothing on the parents and grandparents, most of whom were unable to attend school to this level.

Here is Maria Concepción (the girl on the right), preparing to enter.

Ana Petronila in purple, Diego David in the middle with striped tie

After introductions and speeches, each student was called up to receive congratulations and a diploma.



Then they were each called up again to walk through the flags and pose for pictures with family members. If you're wondering if all of this took many hours, the answer is 'yes'. And if you're wondering if loud orchestrations of love themes from 70s movies played loudly the whole time, the answer is also 'yes'. 

Paulina (with Mynor and his iPad)

Vicenta; the girl with the flag on the right is Beca student Rosa Maria (younger students with the best grades get that honor)

Lucia Adamari


Francisco Adolfo

Mynor, Griselda and I with 8 of the kids

After the graduation I walked down the finca road with Vicenta's mom to their home for a delicious celebration lunch of traditional San Pedrano food - chicken soup with guisquil (a type of squash), cabbage, and rice and tamalitos. In order to honor multiple invitations, Mynor and Griselda ate lunch with the family of Maria Concepción and Cooperativa directors Luis and Antonio joined me at Vicenta's.

Next I dashed back to Ti Wachooch (thanks for the ride on your motorcycle, Luis!), changed my clothes, and headed to the dock for the quickest Panajachel visit on record: 3 tuktuk rides and 2 boat crossings in less than an hour and a half - just enough time to (finally!) obtain my lost luggage, picked up at the airport in Guatemala City and left at a tour agency in Panajachel by our favorite driver, Alfredo Garcia.

The last of the ice cream fiestas was that evening and then it was time to gear up for Todos Santos and Día de los Muertos. Next post!

You can find the complete photo collection for this trip HERE.

Happy trails!

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