After three weeks in San AndrÃ©s, I have decided to move on. A different crowd has moved into the city (I’m one of the old hands now!) and though some things are better, it feels like the right time to move on.
The new crowd is a 40 person group from TrekForce.org.uk. They have had a 2 month adventure in Belize, and are now here for 4 weeks learning Spanish. There are four of them staying with my family, so it is easy to slack off and speak English instead of Spanish. In fact, it is required right now, because they don’t speak a word. Some are learning faster than others, but as 18 year old British youth, they don’t have very broad horizons and are taking a while to catch on to Spanish.
So, off I go. I plan to head south for a weekend-long vacation and reward for myself at Finca Ixobel (pronounce the x as an sh, like the Mayans do… there you go!). It is a gringo-land where you can hang out all weekend and not hear a lick of Spanish other than Â¡mas cervecas, por favor!. I’m looking forward to taking a horse ride and busting a move on the dance floor. Or maybe just chilling out in a hammock.
Next I’ll go to Livingston, which is where the black slave descendants who speak Spanish live. Strange little place you can only get to with a boat. Then on to Puerto Barrio where I hope to visit an MSF clinic. I have not been able to get in touch with anyone there, so I plan to just show up and hope for the best. I’ll catch a bus to Guatemala City from there and head on to Antigua as soon as possible, possibly without even staying a night in Guatemala City. There’s nothing to see there other than an MSF clinic, but it is likely in a very dodgy part of town so I’ll only try to find it if the Peurto Barrio thing falls through, or if they tell me I should drop by the Guatemala City one.
In Antigua, I’ll climb an active volcano (assuming it is not too active) then head north to Xela. Xela is the Mayan name for Quetzaltenango, which everyone uses because it is easier to say and spell. I plan to study for two or three weeks there. I’m also planning on checking out a program there called Seeds of Hope. I might consider traveling back to Guatemala after this trip for an extended stay there to immerse myself more in Spanish. It all depends on how I like the highlands, and how that program could use my help.
So, that’s the plan. We’ll see how it actually turns out!