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No Mining Here Please!

February 13, 2015

Day 28 Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Liz , Janet, Ken, Karen, Lisa and I and our local GPS helpers loaded into the truck at 8:00 am and boy did we have a journey today. I don’t know what the elevation was, but we were extremely high up in the mountains where many people live and we hiked huge difficult hills to get to the homes we were to document stoves previously built. It was a tough hike but then young and old, people who live here do it all the time, often carrying huge loads on their backs. The people who have received the stoves are so grateful as it makes such a healthy difference in their lives. Coming here with the group has certainly been an eye- opener for me, especially seeing the women cooking on open fires with no place for the smoke to escape from inside. To celebrate the stoves being assembled in the homes nearby, a celebration was held at noon at one of the homes, where at least 30 people had gathered and we were offered a beverage along with some home- made chicken soup..fresh for sure as the chicken was killed that morning; also tamales, corn dough wrapped in corn leaves and boiled..not such a fan of those. Lots of children of all ages, and why they were not at school is anyone’s guess. The people here speak Mam so we could not talk with them except with one of the translators, but I found out one young girl who looked about 12 was actually 16 and had not been to school since grade 6. Her 2 older sisters had babies and I suspect she will soon be having one too. A lovely girl and such a shame to not be continuing in school. I lost count of the stoves we documented; I think 6. We also went to see one of the girls the GPS is sponsoring at school, in her home, Daisy. I took a lovely picture of the whole family, including grandma. They are so proud of Daisy continuing her education past grade 6 and dad gave a lovely speech about this and thanking the Canadians for making this happen. This family was also a stove recipient and before we left they made some lovely food for us. It was a squash soup and it was sweet and pretty good. It seems we have to be careful here as Canadians as there are some mining companies from Canada taking the land from the Guatemalans for mining endeavours and this understandably is being met with a lot of resistance. We are best not to flaunt that we are Canadian for this reason. The Guatemalan government is very corrupt in that it ignores the needs of itsimage image image image image image image image people and is in cohorts with big businesses and other governments instead of helping with education and health and social issues of its people. The Canadian government is not helping either. Back to Comi, as it is called. Everyone had different plans until we met for supper at the same place we went last night. Lots of discussion re our day today and plans for tomorrow, then back to our hotel. Bedtime soon and luckily no bedbugs…….yet!

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