Key information about the trip:
- May 5th – May 21st
- traveled with two other people in my student org (Sa Nimá Collaborative)
- four stops: G-City (passing through), Antigua, Cobán, Samox San Lucas (rural, not on a map)
- two projects: education and engineering (I’m officially on engineering)
- In-country NGO partner: CasaSito
- It was hot & humid. All the time. As in, ALL the time.
Day 1: Detroit to Ft. Lauderdale to G-City to Antigua
Guatemala City (aka G-City according to one flyer we read in Antigua)
Five crash course Spanish workshops, three months of planning, and some of the most minimal and condensed packing I have ever executed (cheap Spirit Airlines = one free carry-on bag), led to my bleary-eyed trek to the airport at 3 AM on Sunday, May 5th.
After several hours of delay at each flight, I was finally in Guatemala, Guatemala City to be exact.
The Spanish hit first, after I had to run back and forth for immigration papers I had accidentally left behind (disculpame, no tengo mi papelito amarillo). I’m sure I impressed many people with my language skills.
Then we walked into the wall of humidity at the very austere baggage claim, humidity which we would soon learn was present everywhere in Guatemala.
CasaSito’s driver, Vinicio, drove us from the airport to Antigua, limiting our exposure to G-City to glimpses of brightly painted buildings squeezed next to each other flashing by the van windows.
Pastel buildings placed neatly on cobblestone streets announced our arrival to Antigua. After stopping by the CasaSito main office to check-in with Jessica, our point person in the NGO, and grabbing some Quetzals from a nearby ATM, we headed to the CasaSito Volunteer House.
We briefly explored the Parque Central, and got the words for prescription and receipt mixed up at a local tienda. Then we spent the night at the Volunteer House, and unfortunately, we weren’t lulled to sleep by the angry Guatemalan rain.