Callum Rowe and The Machete Diaries travel blog

The Front Yard of the School

They saw the camera and immediately wanted to be in a photo

Bananas grow like weeds here

The momma dog in her favourite spot (El Capitain or Cappie)

Cappie's daughter in her favourite position (always one leg straight) She's my...

The man of the house (Compañero or Compa)

Darth Duck as I call him, you will always be more afraid...

One hundred chickens that lay yummy eggs for 50 centavos each

I finally arrived at the School of The Mountains just outside of Colomba. The rain just started after my arrival. I overshot my mark riding in the chicken bus because I guess the driver thought that the only gringo on the bus didn't need to get off at the popularly known "school of the gringos" after all. So, they called me up to the front of the bus and started rapidly speaking spanish to me. I just smiled and said Si, si because I had no idea what they were talking about. They stopped the bus, waved down a pickup and paid the driver to get me on it. It was Sunday so it was market day in Colomba and there were 30 people in the back of this pickup with a metal cage around it. So I got my first ride in one of these things hanging out the back with everyone laughing at me. There were a few times where I was pretty convinced I was going to eat it. But I survived.

The school is a beautiful place. The building itself used to be the owner's house, the owner of a finca (coffee plantation). There are three communities adjacent to the school. Fatima, Nuevo San Jose, and Santa Domingo. All are the poorest of the poor in Guatemala existing on less then 4 dollars a day with families always over 6 people (usually more like 8 to 12). These communities established themselves with back owed salaries paid to them after successful but long labor struggles. (I will explain the story of Nuevo San Jose in my post about Coffee.)

There are three adorable dogs here although they are very racist. For instance, Cappie starts barking at any Guatemalteco who walks by and then her kids Compa and Boster run out to help sometimes just howling and running around in circles. I have yet to see them respond the same way to the gringos.

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