March 23, 2007

Váyanse a Guatemala! by Eboni Bailey

We finally made it! Against all odds: a teacher-led strike, coupled with missed flights, political unrest, and family and friends against us. It did not forecast a positive experience. Nonetheless, the trip was full of silly moments, and life-changing experiences, which have better equipped me as a world-traveler in the years to come.

We were five, from all different backgrounds and experiences, but we were all ready to embark on a new type of Spring Break challenge.After meeting my Guatemalan friend, Alejandra, in Italy some years prior, we had been planning my visit to her homeland. Finally it came to pass. I have always been up for a new and unique travel experience, especially if it involved my beloved Spanish language. I had been studying Spanish prior to my trip to Guatemala, but with discouraging grades on my Spanish grammar tests; I was in need of a boost in self-esteem, and what other way than to put it to use than in a Spanish speaking country!

Due to various flights, three out of the group arrived Friday, and of course without me! They were to meet my friend, Alejandra, in Guatemala based on my physical description. Much to my surprise, however, there were many Guatemalans of African decent, most commonly residing on the east coast of the island. In spite of this, due to my keen descriptions, they were able to meet up and spend the first night with Alejandra in the artistic city of Antigua, 45 minutes west of Guatemala City. Another friend and I arrived the following day Saturday, anxious to hit the ground running with only 6 days vacation remaining...(click here to read full trip report)