Monday, February 1, 2010

Last days in Antigua, First days in Xela!

Saturday, the 30th, Maddie and I climbed up to Cerro de la Cruz, literally Hill of the Cross.  We thought it was going to be an actual hike, so we braced ourselves... only to find out it took 15 minutes to get to the top.  Oh well, still a beautiful aerial view of Antigua from the North.

View of Volcan El Agua and Antigua from Cerro de la Cruz

Monday we had our first meeting with Judy from Nueva Vida.  Judy arrived in a small town called Santa Maria de Jesus in the early ´90s as a missionary.  Since, she has built, directed, and sustained a school for special needs children.  She started with 8 children and 1 teacher and now runs multiple classes of grades K-6.  Santa Maria de Jesus is a Mayan village of 24,000, situated on the side of Volcan El Agua (in the above picture).  Over 90% of the community is indigenous and speaks Cakchiquel as their first language. It has the highest poverty rate in the state and has a 44% illiteracy rate. Most adults who are literate have only up to a third grade education, although this statistic is slowly improving.  If you´d like to read more about Nueva Vida, read Judy´s blog,

She had so many wise words to share with us...
  1. You can do a lot ineffectively, or you can do a little well.
  2. It's always possible you don't know the whole story.
  3. The less you say, the more people presume you know.
  4. You'll never do everything 100% right the first time.
After spending 5 hours with Judy, Maddie and I caught a bus to Xela-- Our somewhat permanent location for the next month.  Our 3 bedroom apartment is incredible and only 2 blocks from the park.  We have one roommate named Ellie who works for Habitat for Humanity: Guatemala (shout out to Alex Dey!)

Come on in for the grand tour of our apartment, where we will be diligently working till the end of February!

Here is my bed and desk!  Thanks for the speakers, Miriam.

...And the other side of my bedroom.

The view from my window and our living room :)

... and the view to the left

Please have a seat in our living-dining room!  And say hi to Ellie on the left.

Now, here´s the fun part!  How much do you think Maddie and I spent on groceries today!?  Please take our poll in the righthand margin above.  Results will follow in our next posting!

More to come shortly.. thanks for reading and playing!

Dana & Maddie


  1. i think you have officially surpassed me in the realm of blogdom.. a survey?! you're so fancy!

    xela looks kinda like quito! and your digs are awesome...