A photo journal by David Booth
At last we arrived in Nuevo Mexico for our three-day stay with returned refugees. The WFP team leaders have made arrangements for us to stay with selected village families -- two or three delegates per family. My dad, WFT team leader Jesse and I stayed with a family of ten: two parents, seven children, and one grandchild. We didn’t want to be a drain on the resources of our host families, so we all brought a few basic food supplies to offset our consumption during our stay: some rice, beans, tomatoes and onions.
The village of Nuevo Mexico consists of about 100 families from seven different ethnic groups. All are returned refugees. The families did not know each other before arriving here from their refugee camps in Mexico or other neighboring countries, and they are not all from the same areas of Guatemala originally. Our WFP team leaders were careful to ensure that those of us who did not speak Spanish were paired with someone who could translate, as none of the families spoke any English. In fact, many of these villagers didn't even speak Spanish: they spoke various indigenous languages, such as Quiche or Kekchi.
The homes are dispersed in Nuevo Mexico, with rough paths connecting them. Individual homes do not have running water or electricity, but they do have some electricity for a few shared services.We arrive in Nuevo Mexico. On the left is our van. The police escort truck is on the right, in front of the church.