Here are some more experiences from Guatemala. The most memorable experience took place with a friend and volunteer named Israel who was an interpreter for the Quiché people. He invited a small group of us to his humble adobe home 1.5 hours into the mountains where his wife had prepared for us a feast of one of their chickens, with rice, handmade tortillas, a pepián sauce, along with Jamaica, a cookie dessert with a chocolate drink to dip (like biscotti and coffee). His 11 year old son who sings in their church put on a concert for us inside the home, and he invited us to meet his neighbors and into his church. At the end of the visit, as a thank you for merely coming to his home, he pulls out 4 traditional men’s Quiché jackets from his closet, which were woven by his wife, and a traditional woman’s top, also woven by the wife, and gives them to each one of us. These traditional garments carry a lot of significance for their tribe and are not only costly but very time consuming to craft. It was as if he was welcoming us into his tribe as members of his culture. To receive this treatment from a family who, compared to our standards, have so little, who not only gave their time and energy to serve their community all week, but also invited essentially strangers into the intimacy of their home and gave them the absolute BEST of what they have, as well as giving them each gifts that carry significant meaning and cost for their family, was overwhelming. This pretty much sums up the people of Guatemala and explains why it’s a blessing to come back every year. .
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