Guatemala

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

I jumped at the opportunity to spend a week accompanying my daughter, Summer on a mission trip to work at an orphanage and volunteer to teach at a school in Patzun, Guatemala.  My daughter was familiar with the experience since she had spent the past 2 years volunteering here through her high school. This year was different since her and 3 other classmates decided to spend a month really immersing into the cultural experience.  I was fortunate to be able to spend the week with her and three other lovely 18 year olds. 

We lived with the local nuns that run an orphanage in a very local non touristy town.  In fact one day I was curious what was around us and pulled up my trip advisor app to see and it confirmed what I had expected.  

This was a town that was off the beaten path and a raw experience of living without the comforts and luxuries of modern society.  

The girls would spend the days teaching at school and we would dine with the (hermanas) Sisters.  They did not speak English and the girls really elevated their Spanish.  I picked up a bit more as well.  After school we would spend time playing and taking care of the adorable babies and children in the orphanage.  It was such a heart warming experience to be with them, their precious smiles and happy eyes and so full of love.

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We would have fresh tortillas at almost every meal that were made moments ago. My mouth waters just as I write about them.  One afternoon the nuns gave us a cooking lesson on how to make them.  They make it look so easy as they roll them and flatten them to perfect little patties. Ours were a little rough and cracked but they made you feel like you were a natural even though we were clearly not skilled.

Yoga is not very popular in this area and I was thrilled to be able to teach to both the Sisters and the kids.  

Chicken Bus   

Chicken Bus

 

Yoga crosses all barriers and inspires connection and I was incredibly grateful to be able to connect in the language of yoga.

 At the end of the week we headed to Lake Atitlan an hour away.  We stayed at  Laguna Lodge one night and Villa Sumaya the next night.  We explored several of the small towns around the Lake.

One of the local highlights is to climb the San Pedro Volcano.  We took the 3 hour hike up the volcano and when the clouds cleared we were treated to an incredible view of the lake.

I headed back home and Summer headed back to the orphanage for a few more weeks and lots more stories to tell.  I am looking forward to spending more time exploring here and possibly hosting a retreat or yoga teacher training in the future.