Guatemala Bonita

image imageGuatemala is more than volcanos, earthquakes, poverty, and civil war.  If you live outside the country, however, that’s all you hear about.  But the beauty that God has woven in here is incredible.

We are leaving today.  Yesterday was packing up from Reyu and driving 3 hours to Anitigua, where we spent the afternoon poking around the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the town square (a little different than the Windsor Town Green!), the local coffee shops (no Starbucks, but why bother with overpriced coffee when the bean fields are steps from where you sleep?), and of course the market.  The woven textiles are beautiful, and there is a stall in the market owned by Marielena, who knows the friends of Faith in Practice and brings out photographs of each group as they have come to visit Guatemala. She readily supplied me with gifts for my family, and donned me in a local corta (skirt) and cincha (belt), with careful calculator machinations: “for You, it will be this price!” — 50 quetzales less than her going rate, about $7 off.  It was a generous afternoon, and afterwards my friend Linda told me about meeting Marielena’s mother, whose eyesight was elderly, and how she taught Linda how to use her loom.
Flowers tumble out of iron-laced windows and fountains overflow.  Street vendors hold necklaces and table runners as you walk down the sidewalk. But it is the people, their beauty and incredible strength, who are the most touching.  Gracious, loving, strong, wise – they are inspirations.