Day 9 Part 2 - Guatemala City scenes, closing quotes, saying goodbye
We spent the rest of the day sightseeing, before returning to our hostel.
In the evening we met once more to reflect on our
experiences of the past nine days and what we learned.
Finally, we talked about what we can do to help when
we get home, and we each made a personal commitment to some kind of follow-up
The next morning we said
our goodbyes to each other and caught our flights back to the USA, our minds
struggling to process all we had seen and heard during the past nine days. It
was a moving and memorable experience, both intellectually and emotionally,
and I very much hope to go again, on a future delegation.
Guatemala City, near USAID offices. The top of the church steeple (center)
bent in an earthquake, but did not fall. It has been leaning like this ever
since -- their version of Italy’s leaning tower of Pisa.
Close-up of the church steeple.
A street near the central market.
Two soldiers stand guard near the central market in Guatemala City.
My dad admires the beautiful fresh fruits at the entrance of the central
My dad, Roberta and I say goodbye.
These are some quotes that delegates recalled during our evening reflections:
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- "Peace is not a piece of paper, but a process." -- Juanita Vacival of the
International Mayan League
- "People who are close to their hearts can together move forward."
-- Don Booth
- "I'm enjoying being confused." -- Don Booth
- "Try to build bridges and not walls." -- Jack McCarthy of USAID
- "This is the only gift that I can give you." -- Boy in Nuevo Mexico
(drawing a rose)
- "Guatemalans have to do it themselves." -- Jack McCarthy of USAID
- "Do it anyway." -- Mother Teresa,
from a poem on the wall of her Children's Home in Calcutta
- "'Civil Society'. I don't know what it is, but everyone talks
about it." -- Felipe Camaro
- "Pray for us." -- Hector Castaņeda
- "I see little hope for Guatemala, it keeps on getting worse and
worse." -- Hector Castaņeda
- "I'm learning to open my eyes, to see what is in front of me." --
- "I respect uncertainty and trust that it will be transcended through me
or someone near me." -- Don Booth
- "Don't forget us." -- Don Nicolas
- "We are voices that challenge." -- Unknown
- "While I'm sympathetic to those who are thirsty, I'm most sympathetic to
those who are most thirsty, those who stayed behind." -- Jack McCarthy
- "I burn." -- Hector Castaņeda
- "It's never a bother, Julia. You are always welcome here." -- Don
- "We do not often express our grief because we do not want our children
to grow up in those surroundings." -- Don Nicolas
- "Yes, I have hope." -- Hector Castaņeda
All text and photos by David Booth unless otherwise indicated.
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