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A day in the life of a Maya village

Maya settled on the shores at the beginning of the last millennium. They are known for their textiles with distinct geometric patterns. Now they have formed community cooperatives to improve their standard of living.

Traveling by boat on Lake Atitlan to the Maya village of San Juan La Laguna, our tour group visited a family in town for lunch. All the table runners and napkins were woven by mom. Chicken, rice , carrots and potatoes were served as a stew with hibiscus tea. There was watermelon for dessert.

Smiling across the table works when you don’t speak the language.

We stopped at a weaver’s cooperative and had a demonstration. I found a table runner in my color scheme at another shop closer to the water. The owner’s daughter about eight years of

age thanked me for shopping in perfect English.

We visited an herbal cooperative and checked over its gardens.

A midwife is born with a gift which she uses to serve the community.

In Guatemala the government requires that all midwives take training to best utilize their skills to lower infant mortality. Communities like San Juan also have a health clinic where some women go to deliver with or without the midwife.

Having children is an important expectation for women in Maya culture. There are 24 midwives in one town alone.

An excellent day of learning and discovering in Guatemala.

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