Hello!!! So I have been out of touch this year. Pero exagerado (lit exagerrated...too much!) I think of things daily to put on this blog. For instance politics. This year is election year, unfortunately, since it literally turns the country upside down. Political parties go crazy painting houses, bridges, phone poles, trees and even rocks with their party colors and logos. There are rallies, meetings, and pickups that drive by with reworked famous songs promoting their fearless leaders. There are shameless handouts of food, goods and even money. And in rural cultures where you feel indebted to someone who gives you something, that doesn't quite equal a democratic process. Not to even go in to the people who try to be candidates (the current president's wife divorced him in order to run, but it seems they've finally prohibited that), a former military general from the time of the internal conflict, the former Guatemala City governor's wife and Nobel Peace prize winner Rigoberta Mencú (again) just to name a few. The general elections are Sept 11, with the presidental candidates being to reduced to just a few for the second round in November. I can't wait till it's over!!! And I cross my fingers that good democracy triumphs during the whole mess... Everyone keeps asking me who I think is the least bad, not who's the best.
Aside from that, I've been running around ever since I got back both at the park and with Peace Corps. Now that I´ll fully moved on to my duties as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader, I´ve been giving workshops, helping with trainings, working on project documents and visiting volunteers in their communities. It's been great overall, stepping more in to the administrative world of Peace Corps as well as taking on additional responsabilities with our specific project development (sustainable community tourism) and supporting volunteers professionally and personally so that they have a better experience and greater impact. Upcoming events are currently centered around 3 workshops: the construction of chimney stoves to curb air contamination and reduce the use of firewood; climate change and the importance of emergency planning; and business planning for a community tourism destination. Never a dull moment!
I'll be posting pictures soon to tell the stories of my recent adventures :)