Central America, Spring ^10

January 20, 2010

Arrived in Guatemala, January 18th

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 5:34 am

Hi family and friends! I arrived in Guatemala yesterday. We’re staying in a guesthouse for two nights. Today we traveled around Guatemala City and had two talks with professors, covering a bit about the history and current situation in Guatemala.

In the morning we visited APROFAM,http://www.aprofam.org.gt/  a health center that provides education and family planning for mostly teenagers in the city. They do presentations at schools and use the same plastic electronic babies that we have to take care of in high school. After we walked around Parque Central and saw government buildings and went inside the cathedral.

In the afternoon we met with a teacher at the school in the Guatemala City garbage dump. Children used to pick plastic bottles out of the trash to recycle and make money, but after a methane fire in 2005 the city banned children from working in the dump. Now through a city program the children work in the mornings on various projects and go to school in the afternoon. They learn two years of information in one year so they can sort of catch up with other students. Their teacher showed us all this artwork they made out of garbage surrounding the school and their homes. Here’s an article with more info.. http://www.counterpunch.org/kroth08052009.html

After the dump we drove to the high-end shopping area of the city. There are lots of really nice, new houses on a hill overlooking the city. It was difficult to see most of the houses because they all have really tall gates surrounding them, but the view over the hill was beautiful. We walked around the mall for a bit, it was fancier than the Palisades Mall in NJ, and had a huge IMAX! The mall had a lot of the same stores as we do in America but most of the names are different. Abercrombie is ‘moose,’ all the shirts say ‘moose  est. ’82 NY.’  I got coffee there and the woman spoke perfect English. There is also a Walmart next door, but they changed the name to ‘Hyper Paiz’ and there is a big H instead of W.

Tomorrow we’re leaving for Quetzaltenango. We’re staying in a hotel and doing orientation tours throughout the city and more talks on Guatemalan history, culture, politcs, etc. On Sunday we’re moving in with our families and starting Spanish classes. http://www.hermandad.com/schools.html

The food is great and the weather is perfect. I’ve been drinking great coffee. The sky is really orange in Guatemala City. It’ll be a bit cooler in the mountains.



  1. I love it, Samantha!

    Comment by Mark Bass — January 20, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

  2. Hi Samantha, We are so glad you are having agood time..sounds really interseting so far and you’ve done so much already!!! How are the other students..hope you’re all getting along well!!!Have fun tomorrow meeting your host families..be careful with the food.

    LOVE, Mom, Dad and Danile

    Comment by Rachel Bass — January 20, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

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