10 Things About Guatemala

My First International Trip…

Hello, wonderful people!

Recently, I got back from the beautiful country of Guatemala. I wanted to share with you some surprising and interesting things I learned while I was there.

1. Everyone in Guatemala (that I met) was welcoming.

Anywhere I went, even with the minor language barrier, I was greeted with a smile or kind words from someone. This is not something I get always while traveling in the US (with the exception of some of the Midwest).

2. You can not flush toilet paper.

This was definitely something different. You just had to think twice after using the restroom…

3. You can find literally anything in the Mercado.

This market had everything — and I mean everything — imaginable. I went in not really knowing what to expect, but I quickly learned they had the largest variety of things I had seen in one place before: There were dozens of kinds of avocados, chile peppers, all cuts of meat imaginable, clothes, diapers, CD’s, and really too much more to name. Definitely, it was better than Walmart.

4. Meat is sold in an open-air market.

This was very surprising. I was in Antigua for a day, and a friend I met in Guatemala took me through their ginormous open-air market. I was surprised to find a meat section. All of the cuts were hanging in the open air. Would it be my preferred meat buying location? Probably not, but it was

5. No one uses a seat belt.

This surprised me. Compared to American traffic laws, Guatemala virtually has nothing. No one uses a seat belt, and a big factor for that is because most people use public transportation, such as busses, outside of Guatemala City.

6. There are security guards pretty much all over the big city.

I learned after the Civil War people amped up the amount of security for their businesses. Pretty much anywhere you go in Guatemala City is being guarded by security personnel who possess large weaponry.

7. The thrift stores are amazing in Guatemala City.

American thrift stores have nothing on the ones in Guatemala City — enough said. I went to a “small” thrift store and still could have gotten lost in it.

8. The country is full of bright colors — everywhere.

One of my favorite things about Guatemala was the fact that everything was numerous colors. It made the city full of life.

9. Even public transportation was painted in numerous colors.

Even their public transportation reflects the character of the culture. All of the busses scattered throughout the country were different shades of green, yellow, and red.

10. Every building and house has a gated wall in front of it (even houses that are below the poverty line).

This is what probably shocked me the most. Every kind of structure was surrounded by a wall and gate (lots of cinder blocks). Even when someone lived basically in a dirt house, they had a gate in front of their home.

All in all, Guatemala was a beautiful country. It was amazing to see God move in incredible ways every day and hour while I was there. I fell in love, and my heart misses the beautiful people.

I can not wait to return.

Rethinking traveling,

Ashlyn

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