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Our trip began with an introduction to the expectations and rules for this course. We discussed the importance of the Red Rules and being a learner (one who immerses themselves in culture and strives to learn more) as opposed to a tourist (one who observes), a pirate (one who is always searching for a better opportunity), or a prisoner (one who extracts themselves from the situation as soon as they reach an obstacle). On our second day, we welcomed our final participant, Nelly, from England. The following day, we reviewed the information from the previous day and left the compound for our first taste of Guatemalan culture. We grabbed our bags, raincoats and all, and started down the cobble stone streets. We walked through the crowded streets in a single file line down the narrow side walks as those on motorbikes and cars turned their heads and drove past us. We gathered as a group before entering the feria (an annual fair) and split into small groups in order to optimize our experience. The fair was daunting. We had never really left the compound before and for the first time needed to utilize our conversational Spanish to inquire about the history of the town and buy some delicious food such as popusa. We explored the fair through a scavenger hunt. Once we returned from our excursion, we debriefed and reflected on our day. Overall, a great start to our trip!

Hasta luego,

Samara and Stella