While traveling in Guatemala, I was able to generally explore and connect with people on and off the beaten path. For the first several days, I focused on learning about the culture and living conditions of people in rural communities on the Pacific Slope. I accompanied Tristan Call, cultural anthropologist and graduate student at Vanderbilt University, and writer/farmer Katy Savage to villages that are currently being threatened by the environmental and economic impact of large neighboring industrial agribusinesses. We were also hosted by a family in San Basilio for a couple of days. San Basilio is a thriving agricultural community, where we were able to observe traditional sustainable farming practices and learn about the farmer’s experiences during the Guatemalan civil war. We were generously hosted by families in all of the communities we visited.
A return trip is planned for Spring 2012.