Welcome back to day 2 of our adventure in Guatemala! 

Today we started our day off with some oatmeal, bananas, and bread (as always) for breakfast and then we were off for a full morning of learning about the different programs within the Mission, all of which were founded by Father Greg Schaeffer.  

Our first stop was at the Hospital Obras Sociales where we were given a tour from Pablo of the history of the hospital and its current status in Guatemala. The hospital has 33 beds divided among men, women, children, and maternity needs. The hospital also has a filtered water system that runs around the exterior and allows local people to bring clean water to their homes. 

After the hospital we were off to Cafe Juan Ana to learn about coffee production from start to finish. We learned about the four different stages of coffee, the process of preparing it, and the process of roasting and packaging it. Cafe Juan Ana receives coffee from about 700 different families in Guatemala, all of which are given fair pay for their hard work. 

Next up was our stop at the Women’s Center where we were given a tour of their medicinal plant garden by Guicha. We saw plants that helped with everything from coughs, joint pain, gastritis, and different cancers. Then we headed inside and got to see where the women who work there learn how to sew and cook.

We were off again to our last stop of the morning, which was the school of San Lucas Mission. Here, Patricia, the director of the school told us about the history of the school, explained how it is now (especially amidst the pandemic), and gave us a tour of some of the classrooms. She shared with us some personal stories that were heart-warming and overall encapsulated the work of the Mission. 

After our busy morning of learning about these programs, we headed to lunch for beef, potatoes, fruit, and of course, bread. After lunch we headed back to the Women’s Center for a cooking class!

During our cooking class, the women taught us how to make a pineapple and carrot, and a papaya jam. We also learned how to make a shortbread cookie with nutmeg that we rolled into all kinds of different shapes and designs. We had a full kitchen filled with laughter and community. We cooked and learned along the women and three young men beside us, and at the end got to taste our finished work. It was my delicioso!

After our class was over, we headed home and went down to the lakefront to enjoy the afternoon and the beauty of San Lucas. Then we headed up for dinner- tortillas, homemade (and incredible) guacamole, vegetable soup with rice, and bread pudding.  We had a spontaneous sunset watch in the middle of dinner and got to see it for just about 5 minutes before it was over. 

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and had reflection, where we had good conversations about sustainability and how we can practice it in our daily lives. After a busy and full day of learning, it was time for a good night’s sleep, so we are well rested for our worksites tomorrow.

Signing off for now (a day late again, whoops). 

Chao, ¡nos vemos a manaña!

Cata and Grace and the Guatemala Gals and Nathan