Saturday, March 15, 2008

Guatemala That I Love


I can feel the sun beat down upon me, its warm glow enlightening my spirits. One can sense the change in season; the sun’s strength is growing rapidly. The difference is felt on your skin, burning hot and hotter, red and redder with each ensuing day. This is not to say that it is hot outside. The temperature lately is never anything but perfect or slightly chilly. It is only the harsh rays of the sun at this high altitude that cause any discomfort.

I sit outside in the afternoons basking in its light and admiring all the beauty that surrounds me. The breath-taking views of Guatemala will never be one of my complaints, nor something I could grow tired of. While I have seen the different views from Cabrican hundreds of times, they never cease to amaze me. It is no wonder there are at least 12 towns in the municipality named Buena Vista (Good View). Despite my bitterness at my isolation, I am constantly thankful that I am in a rural area, that I avoid the excessive pollution of larger areas and the never ending concrete.

The sky, Carolina blue in all its glory, extends into oblivion, colliding with the mountainous landscape and rolling hills. Hawks soar in the distance rising and falling with the wind. In the foreground dirt roads and adobe brick houses dot the landscape, growing smaller and smaller until my flawed eyesight can no longer distinguish between them and patches of trees and empty brown cornfields, and everything merges into one large picture of splendor. Large puffy white clouds roll in and out, interchanging warmth for chill. And in the distance I can make out Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Tajamulco and, with any luck at all, Tacana and the Mexican border.

The sound of civilization: of hammers, chainsaws, cars, bus horns, children playing in the street and someone’s stereo blaring Julieta Venegas, mixes in with the sound of the campo: of roosters crowing, cows, dogs snarling over leftovers, the wind in the leaves and the random words in Mam I can decipher.

This is the Guatemala that I love. This is the Guatemala I will not be able to forget.

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