March 2: Night-time
Today was our free day before the work week began. We went to the Iximche Mayan Ruins, where I learned a lot about Mayan culture. One interesting fact was that the Mayans walked sideways, one foot at a time, facing the sun, to go up steep steps – out of respect for the sun. Nature plays such a large role in their culture.
We also went a musical group performance. I felt like I was in the woods/rain forest/nature. Check out the video below! The music was amazing and the group had so much passion for what they do. When someone asked how long they have been playing, one member said they have been a group for 13 years but have been musicians since birth, when they first cried. It’s such an interesting and unique perspective. I also learned that they are in danger as they fight to keep their culture alive through music.
Our group truly got spoiled with our hotel situation in San Juan. We have hammocks outside our doors, beds to sleep in and showers. Well, the shower only has ice cold water that sucks the air out of you, but it’s a shower nonetheless.
We will be having breakfast and dinner at Petrona’s house this week, a lady who works for ODIM and prepares all of our meals. Her little daughter, Perla, stole my heart already. She wrapped her arms around me and said “Amiga, amiga, amiga!” within five minutes of meeting us. She has such joy for life and is so welcoming to strange, new people who hardly speak her language. I admire her for that.
I am anxious to see San Pablo tomorrow and to form relationships with not only the Mayan people, but closer relationships within our group. If today was any indication of how the rest of the week will go – I have no words. Buenas noches!