So we YAVs went to Xolpic for 2 days (approx 4 hours from Xela)-- and let me tell you world, it was beautiful and humbling. It's literally on the top of the mountain, and so we stayed at a very basico hotel in the next biggest town (about 1 hour down the mountain) with 3 Cedepca (Marcia T's other organization) people.
So this community of 80ish families had this severe drought 1.5 years ago ((and MT was the head of organizing relief/ psychological support through Cedepca)) and then this past
summer (rainy season) they were totally flooded... No, global climate change doesn't exist, definitely not. Also, there's no electricity that high up the mountain and they have to walk like hours to get water, and have only just been able to figure out a system of collecting/ storing rain water for all that live there. Aside from those obstacles, because they're SO remote/high, they're SUUUUPER vulnerable to natural disasters/ climate change, hence Cedepca chose to partner with them to support them psychologically and agriculturally for a year. This visit that we joined was the last one, closing out their official partnership, and reinforcing that the community itself has the resources to support each other and to continue on. Very cool stuff.
Otherwise, Christmas-type things are in full swing here (which really began to happen Nov 2)-- including the 8-story Gallo cerevza fake Christmas tree outside the Greek Templo de Minerva by the biggest market in the city. Yes- it's quite a collection of cultures happening right there- complete with Gallo beer ornaments and a Gallo emblem on top. Cheap beer is apparently the official sponsor of Christmas in Guatemala. Good. Christmas time also means that all of our projects take breaks for Christmas for about a month starting after next week-- huzzah!
Hope all are well -- I've heard it's pretty darn cold at home and at Miami-- make some snow angels for me! (It's cold here at night -with no heat- but during the day it's like 50... yeah, you're jealous.)