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How Can We Help?

January 25, 2015

Day 10, Saturday, January 24, 2015

Up this morning to find Elizabeth gone on her early flight back to Canada and Liza and Ken and Janet have now arrived. Janet and Ken are good friends of mine who I met at a Spanish meet-up and Liza is a young girl who has just finished her studies at Concordia and her aunt, who is also coming from Ottawa to work with the stove project, encouraged her to come.We will be roommates for most of the trip. After another delicious breakfast, we were picked up by a taxi and taken into Guatemala City and we paid the driver the equivalent fo $3.50 each to give us a tour. In Spanish, but Janet and Ken both speak the language very well. The sprawling city, with the highest crime rate in Central America has 25 zones with the northern half being rather squalid and run down while the southern half is quite modern and wealthy. The part that really distressed me was seeing the homes built on a river embankment piled one on top of the other and they were just shacks. I have no picture of this because as we were leaving in the taxi I was told to leave my passport behind for safety reasons and I uimagenderstood they meant me to leave my iPad behind, which is my camera! I missed so many amazing photo opportunities which was disappointing for me. However, Liza transferred her photos to me but she is sleeping and I don’t know how to retrieve them. To see these homes like this left an indelible print on my brain..worried all day about what they ate, how they get any food, what about the poor children etc..there is no social network here to help these people…. After a great tour the driver left us off at the huge Parque Central, full of life with people, pigeons, shoe shiners and children and adults selling anything and everything, trying to make a living. We lined up to take a tour of the Palacios National, built in the 1940s by the president. So extremely lavish and such a contrast to its surroundings, now used for cultural exhibitions. We walked around Parque Central and enjoyed eating many of the local snacks offered by the people. I noticed the sign for the shaved ice treats I enjoy and they are called granizadas. Afte touring some more of the city by foot we decided to go to the Bar El Portal, one of Che Guevera’s old drinking haunts, where he would frequently meet with Castro. The decor is little changed since the revolutionary era. We left the bar and toured some more and walked and walked down Sexta Avenida( 6th Avenue) which seemed to go forever, and was filled with the locals once again trying to sell things, children, adults young and old, calling out their items, all along both sides of the street. Also buskers and how late would these people be parading the streets?We caught a cab as it was getting pretty cool and we returned to Dos Lunas about 8:30pm. We then ordered in some food and we ย also ordered the film Living on one Dollar on my iPad and are glad we are here to try to make a difference for some families by being involved in the stove project.


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  1. Susan Wrightsell permalink

    Kathy I am so incredibly proud of you!

    • Just had a lovely meal at my Homestay’s. Chicken, veggies and rice with lots of tortillas Mi Madre is making.xoxoI try to eat local stuff as much as possible.xox

  2. Bryan permalink

    Good job all of you for helping the less fortunate!! That bar you went to sounds really cool, so much cool history! Proud of you and love you!

  3. Gary permalink

    Good morning. Very interseting. Sounds alot like Carleton Place whe you are describing the shantys people live in. Just kidding. I couldnt imagine living like that. Just curious what the food is like overall…it seems as tho you eat almost the same stuff every day. Excited to hear about it when you get back! -34 here today, so enjoy the nice weather!

  4. Lynn permalink

    Hi Kathy: I am continuing to read your blogs – sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Take care and keep writing. Love Lynn xxoo

  5. Brittiney permalink

    Hi KAthy! WOW! You have been busy! I bet it is just so surreal there…..sorry I haven’t commented, but I have just caught up with your stories! ( terrible for checking my email) Sounds like your having an amazing time but it also ,makes you think how lucky we all are eh….I remember going to mexico and seeing the little ones in the streets like you described and it broke my heart. We all have so much. Im glad you are having a great time! I am down with the flu ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but on a positive note I donated my hair to cancer!! got r all chopped! and seriously makes me feel so great to know that I am going to make someone very happy!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thinking of ya be SAFE and stay happy! xo

    • Hi Brit..glad you got a chance to red them..yes amazing and bet you look great with hair chopped and good for you to donate to cancer.xoxo

  6. Denise :) permalink

    I am happy you have the team support of experienced people to help in this adventure for the people in need. You could start a small business of building cook stoves at home for outdoor use for those who like the old cook stove method.

  7. Denise :) permalink

    I am happy you have the team support of experienced people to help in this adventure for the people in need. You could start a small business of building cook stoves at home for outdoor use for those who like the old cook stove method. ๐Ÿ™‚

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