We moved to Guatemala this past week, and I am so excited to write about everything we have experienced here so far... but first I need to recap our last week in San Cristobal.
We were both really sad to leave Mexico. Even though we were only there for 5 months, it was definitely our home. The Saturday before we left we had our last visit to Yo'onik, and the kids dressed up in costumes for carnival. They had so much fun getting dressed up, even though all we did was take pictures of them in their costumes.
We made them a slideshow with pictures and videos from our 5 months with them. I think they all loved seeing themselves onscreen, especially the movies. I don't think many of them have ever seen pictures/videos of themselves so it was a fun thing we could do for them.
All of the kids were so sweet to us on our last week. Many of them drew us pictures and they all gave us numerous hugs. Actually, when it came time to go, they weren't going to let Caitlin leave. Literally. They kept holding onto her even though I was walking out the door.
Caitlin had this great idea to have all of the kids paint their hands and put their handprints on some aprons as a recuerdo of Yo'onik. We did three different aprons and Caitlin gave two of them to Xunka and Yoli, the sisters who run the program. On the aprons Caitlin wrote "Yo'onik tiene mi corazon" (which means Yo'onik has my heart - which is fun because Yo'onik means heart in Tzotzil) and the other one she did like the I Heart NY shirts - but she did it with Yo'onik.
The kids were so funny about painting their hands. We only had three colors of paint, so we made a bunch of them marbled and mixed colored.
On Sunday, after church, we went exploring a different part of San Cristobal that we had never made it to before. It was really pretty. We went by a reservoir of water that had reeds growing 15 feet high, and although the reservoir was really small, there were quite a few people fishing on its banks.
Then we went out to la Iglesia Maria Auixiladora - which I have always wanted to stop by and see. It is huge and white and set off in the distance. It was about 3 miles from where we lived, so it was a nice Sunday walk for us.
Unfortunately the church was closed, but the grounds were great and we sat on a bench and talked for a long time, enjoying the warm weather.
The rest of the week (we left on Friday) was full of goodbyes. We both had to work, but it seemed like everyday we had to say goodbye to someone different. Caitlin said goodbye one by one to all of her students. My boss and her partner took us out for a goodbye lunch, and the hardest goodbye was with Xunka and Yoli who we have become very close to during our time here.
We are sad to be gone from San Cristobal, but we are excited about all the fun things happening in Guatemala. It is so different working here and we have been enjoying the super warm weather by wearing shorts and t-shirts every day. In the near future I will update a little on our time in Guatemala. Hasta luego!