San Pedro – Guatemala January 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Migrant Worker


Getting to the lake was exciting to say the least.  I decided to come by way of the chicken bus since I had plenty of time.  The bus left from Antigua every hour, I hopped on, and off I went.  Three hours and three buses later the show came to a halt.  Apparently my Spanish was not good enough to pick up on the fact that the bus assistant was telling the crowd about a landslide that had recently happened.  So, there I was 5 Km from the place I wanted to go and no road to take me there.  While I was preparing my dumb look face I noticed that some of the people were walking in to the woods and were motioning me to come with them.  I thought what the hell I didn’t want to go back to the previous town so I picked up my bags and followed them.  17.5 Kg doesn’t seem like much until you have to go rock climbing with it.  The locals figured that they would just stomp down a new trail towards the town.  Simple enough if the land was somewhat flat but we were going down the face of a mountain.  The hardest part was keeping up with the old ladies.    After a long sweaty climb I made it to the lake and only a short boat ride more before I made it to my intended destination.

San Pedro la Laguna.

View from my hotel/office.









The reason for coming to the lake this time was to learn some Spanish and enjoy the weather.  Since the lake is at 5,000 ft the climate is comfortable all year.  Except for some crazy rains that come through.  During the first week that I was in San Pedro la Laguna the level of the lake rose about 3 feet.  For this to occur more that 1.5 trillion gallons of water must enter the lake. Wow

I managed to complete one week of proper Spanish schooling before opting for an alternative method.  To stretch my wanker dollars I decided to stay with a local Mayan family and get training from one of the family members.  This worked out well for about two weeks then I had had enough corn tortillas to last a lifetime.  After the home stay I went back to a cheap hotel and had the teacher come over everyday for my lessons.  I feel as if I now understand 60% of the language 🙂

















A brief summary of events: in the beginning the Spanish was hard and the poops were not — in the end the poops were hard the the Spanish was not.

At some point I began to look around at volunteer opportunities to stretch my money even farther.  Somehow I ended up making my own volunteer position at a cooperativa near San Pedro working with Africanized bees. This turned out to be very interesting and fun. For one month I worked with a bee inspector in the the mountains and took Spanish classes later in the days.









When I ran out of money I came back to the states. (Thanksgiving day).  After I was back I gave a presentation about my experience to the Marion County Beekeepers Club.

If you are interested in seeing all of the pictures

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