Recall the last time you travelled out of the state or country. What first comes to mind? The temperature? The food? The language? I stop my list there because next thing you were probably about to think of was the people, but why does that come to mind last? Sure, you planned your trip to see The Colloseum, Eiffel tower, and London bridge; however, after your trip, for some reason , what sticks in your mind is the waitor who sang your child happy birthday, the painter who gave you a discount after a long conversation, the baker who gave you your favorite baguette.
Whenever I travel, I like to see certain countries as a collection of individuals, rather than a nationality, language, or group of landmarks. So far in this trip, I am beginning to do that. Instead of visiting all of the big Guatemalan cities and Mayan ruins immediately, I am talking to the weavers, coffee makers, and host families that are contributing to the generous hospitality Latin America is known for. The artisans are teaching me why they are so passionate about their craft.