Sunday, February 20, 2011

Volcan Pacaya

Geothermal electricity plant that uses steam generated from the volcano vents.

Hiking down to the lava fields in several inches of screed.

Lava field.

Steam coming off the lava field.

Roasting marshmallows over a gap in the field with magma underneath.

Sunset. Volcanos Agua and Fuego to the right.

After an arduous afternoon hike...

Just smoking now.
Pacaya is a volcano outside of the capital that always been noted as a fun, short hike. I had been meaning to hike it (as one of the four active volcanoes in Guatemala) ever since I got here more than two years ago... and FINALLY hiked it this weekend! Derc arranged all the transportation and a guide, and we headed out with a few other volunteers. The hike was pretty steep, and a lot of it was in several inches of tiny rocks - not what I had pictured volcanic ash as. We hiked up in late afternoon and the sun set as we were coming back down. In the dark we were able to see flashes of light from Fuego erupting!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feria 2011: Proof that the sun DOES come out here, Mom!

The HAND-operated ferris wheel!

Catholic church in town decorated and bustling with activity.

"Dance of the Conquerors"

Horse Parade for Feria

Showing off. :)

The princesses of the feria.

Dancing horse, Condesa! She danced to several songs and it was REALLY cool!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reinas de la Feria

Little Lauris' aunt was the Queen of Agriculture.

This is the back side of Floria's kite. It includes the main symbols of our town.

Floria, Child Queen of the Feria. She's Lauris' cousin.

Last year's Queen of the Feria and her escort - both are teachers!

Lauris and Saturnina dancing marimba down the walk while throwing baskets of candy into the crowd.

I think Lauris is just the cutest little three year old!

Floria, with her queenly attire.
I never thought that I'd like going to beauty pageants. However, pageants are a big part of community entertainment here, and I really love them now! This month we have had three pageants, and tonight was the "crowning" ceremony. All the pictures except for the two with the kite are from tonight. All the girls are dressed in the traditional dress of our town (each municipality has a different blouse / skirt / belt combination).

Friday, January 28, 2011


Felipe, showing the teachers the red composting worms (Roja Coqueta).

Explaining how to make a tire garden.

Brainstorming lesson plan ideas that included the school gardens.

Seeds for the gardens, examples of library books, and disaster management materials.

Practicing the proper layering for a compost pile.

Tire garden!

Derc warmed everyone up in the morning with a little Tai Chi.
This year we organized three "beginning of the year" workshops and we finished the last of them this morning! Derc talked about inorganic trash management, Felipe (an agronomist from local NGO Asodisa) talked about green composting, and I talked about school gardens as a project. I always love workshops because it is so fun to have a big group of teachers all in the same room, laughing, chatting, and planning projects for the year. If you are interested in a more in-depth description of the Healthy Schools program that we are working with, click here and  here to previous posts.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Elote and Fatima playing Sequence.

Irritated kitty.

For some reason, she loves this swing!