This morning our students entered into our final and more exciting part of our trip, ‘The X-phase’ meaning Students’ Expedition phase, where they take full ownership of the whole itinerary. They have been planning these 6 days for the past 3 weeks, and have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Here we are!!! When the students showed us their plan and day by day activities, we, the instructors were very happy because they put a lot of effort into it and we saw that they were making sure that everybody’s voice was heard and the process of decision making involved everybody’s opinion. Our students decided to visit San Lucas Toliman la Laguna and work with IMAP (the Mesoamerican Institute of Permaculture) and learn about sustainable agriculture systems and the whole philosophy behind this concept that pretty much is a sustainable lifestyle, meaning, respecting mother nature and other living beings around us and the idea of using local materials, reusing plastic and designing infrastructure among other concepts related to the Mayan Cosmovision. Along with working with IMAP our students also decided to do the 4th and last home-stays with the lovely families of San Lucas town.
Today is the first day of X-Phase and our students have being doing a great job organizing the logistics. First they got a boat for the whole group from San Juan to San Lucas and then they organized an incredible organic lunch with IMAP people. They also organized a nice tour with Ramiro (one of the founders of IMAP), who gave us a talk and intro to what permaculture is and how IMAP is working with this sustainable agriculture system. We were able to getting to know IMAP and learn about what they are doing and also to got to know a bit of the ancestral knowledge they are using in order to work in the fields and the idea of using the Mayan symbols, ‘the 20 Nahuales’ in order to have good energy and a positive attitude about what they are doing and all the projects they have. In the afternoon we took transportation to San Lucas Town and then all the students met their home-stay families.
For us as instructors seeing our students performing and taking ownership and leading the activities makes us very happy and also very proud of them. We feel that they are more than ready to travel independently in the future. They are all collaborating in order to move and get things done. They are really taking advantage of our final two weeks in Guatemala.
There are more things to share but we will let our students share their own experience in the coming days!
Alan, Erick and Lisa