Panorama High school students arrive in Antigua, Guatemala!
Our service trip began with a five-hour flight to Mexico City. The flight to Mexico had been delayed causing us to be a little later than expected for the flight to Guatemala. We quickly checked in and hopped on shuttle cart in order to make the flight. Then we had a short two-hour flight to Guatemala and after getting out of the airport with our bags, the atmosphere that welcomed us was humid, packed with people and eager faces. Upon exiting, we had already caught a glimpse of various cultural and emotional situations such as a little girl who was crying and an amputee selling small wristbands. We came to fully comprehend Guatemala’s diverse and welcoming environment while on the van to Antigua. The whole group found themselves to be comparing the landscape to their respective countries of origin. (i.e. India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe) We found the culture to be an unfamiliar balance between western and traditional Spanish culture. When we were two blocks from the hotel, we had to stop due to a cultural artwork that had blocked the road, resulting in us carrying our luggage to the hotel. We found ourselves to be quite tired, however the sight of the hotel was incredibly refreshing. It exceeded our expectations and reminded us of an old Spanish architecture and revealed a colourful history. After settling down, we went out for supper and before we could make it into the building, we were bombarded by salespeople. They would follow us and insist that we bought whatever they were selling but we had to adopt tactics in order to deal with the situation. After supper, we went to see more of the cultural artwork and took pictures with people wearing purple. The purple robes symbolize something and we aim to discover the mystery behind that as we venture through our experience. We went to the terrace to skype our families and catch a glimpse of a religious parade. We proceeded downstairs and witnessed a band performing and women carrying a statue of Hail Mary. We saw the determined looks on the faces of the women and the commitment they had towards their religion. We came back to the hotel to relax, shower and go to bed, eager to begin work the next day.
Angela, Mandeep, Chalani, Gursewak, Jeevanjot, Jeet
|Alfombra: Carpets of flowers in the streets, created in the lead-up to Easter.|
|Starting a round Alfombra carpet: sand and sawdust are the base layer.|
|Beautiful finished Alfombra carpet: decorated with flowers, seeds, grasses.|
|Team members with purple-robed Holy Week participants.|
|Roof-top panorama of the neighbourhood.|
|Team with a finished flower carpet.|
DWC Team Leader