Today is July 19, 2021. We started the day by practicing our Spanish at the Eco Spanish School in San Juan. After that, we spent a nice hour at the beach on Lake Atitlan. I didn’t know that Lake Atitlan was as deep as it was, so being about six feet and not being able to reach the bottom if I tried (without even swimming out that far), I find it very eye-opening. After the trip to the beach, we took a tuc-tuc ride back to San Juan; I have seen tuc-tucs driven by people who look like they are twelve. Sometimes, they even have Among Us or anime bumper stickers. We asked the instructors the legal age for someone to drive in Guatemala, and they told us it is 16 with parental consent. However, the law is not always enforced, so some children also drive the tuc-tucs.
Now onto the real meat. Today we learned about the issues of monoculture through an activity. We drew a small self-sustaining village of people with their own crops, livestock, houses, places of worship, nature. We spent all this time drawing our little town with a lot of detail. We were then instructed to put a road in, bring upon deforestation, and build houses on top of the crops. The village no longer became self-sustaining, and it felt depressing to tear down our hard work. While there were positive impacts of monoculture, the negative impacts seemed to outweigh them all. It was all just a very interesting activity, and I learned a lot from it.