We made it to Panajachel Monday afternoon after a long but scenic drive from Guatemala City with our favorite guide Esapaldo. We have been greeted with open arms by both the Maya Traditions staff and our host families. Though we have been split into three separate houses we are all within a ten minute walk from each other and the Foundation and have easy access to the city´s center.
We began our roles at Maya Traditions yesterday with tours of the herbal medicinal garden and a workshop with local healers to learn about herbal tinctures and topical creams. We were able to meet and speak with these women (with a little translation help) as well as assist them in cleaning, cutting, and preparing the herbs. Many were known to us and common in the United States, such as eucalyptus, and basil, rosemary. However others were not so commmon, such as Aztec sweet herbs and plants with distinguished genders.
We are working on a Facebook page for the Mayan healers in order to promote their work and share their stories. Here is a link to the page, take a look and spread it around if you can!
We´ve roamed the many streets and markets for hours already and have not even brushed the surface on what there is to see in Pana. Every stand and shop has even more colors, designs, and textiles to see. We have all eaten plenty of black beans and tortillas, and the tacos at a shop just down the street from us called Taquero Mucho were a great find. Tomorrow is El Día de Trabajo, or Guatemala´s version of Labor Day, so we all have the day off. We are hoping to visit a neabry nature reserve to take a few hikes and enjoy the surrounding mountains.
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