Friday, March 19, 2010


NEWS published on Prensa Libre March 18th 2010

We will select four adoption organizations among the 15 that were postulated in 10 countries," said Elizabeth Hernandez CNA(Consejo Nacional de Adopciones) president.

The CNA decided to reopen the adoption of children by foreigners because of the 608 children waiting to be adopted, 214 have intellectual disabilities, chronic illness or are older than 7 making it difficult to be placed in Guatemalan families.

Following the Adoption Act on 31 December 2007, adoptions were suspended in Guatemala. Later children started to be placed in Guatemalan homes. To date 279 cases have been completed.

In addition to banning international adoptions, the new law stripped of powers to notaries who in the previous process were responsible for recruiting pregnant women to the last step of apply for U.S. visas for children. Each adoptive family paid between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000 for the procedure.

In the years preceding the law, up to 5,000 adoptions were processed per year. Over 1% of children born in those years in Guatemala were adopted by Americans.

The CAN began in November a selection process of adoption organizations, that is agencies engaged in managing private adoptions.

In late April, eight agencies were selected , whose representatives will be interviewed and references will be verified with their respective countries.

Unlike the previous system, where parents demanded specifics on children, now the CAN will provide the children with their counterparts in countries of destination and they will be responsible for seeking suitable families for them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

O is for OCOTE

O is for Ocote. Ocote is the word for pine in Nahuatl. Ocote is a type of pine high on rosins and very flammable. It is sold in little bunches and used to start a fire. The wood lights up easily with just a match and creates a big flame that can start a fire.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CH is for Chocobanano

CH! Yes CH is a letter in the spanish dictionary with its own section of entries.

Chocobanano is a chocolate covered banana on a stick, totally worth breaking my diet...

In the picture @ my masters program eating the chocobananos Guillermo so kindly brought us!

Posts part of the series A, B, C, CH, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Father, 80 years old, wife, two sons and 4 grandkids were waiting for older son whom they hadn´t seen for 7 years. He was coming from Washington through Miami. They were immediately driving back to Todos Santos an 8 hour drive, so they will arrive tomorrow at 5 am.

Wainting for loved ones

Men, woman and children of Todos Santos, Huhuetenango @ gt city airport.
Sent from my mobile. CIAV, Cambiando Vidas

Friday, March 5, 2010


Patojo is quite the colloquial word, the closest I can think of is "guy/dude". Patojo is a young male. Patoja a young female. If you ask someone how old are you, and you are still young, people might say "Oh, you are still patojo". A parent my refer to their kids as "his patojos". A woman going out with a young fellow has "her patojo". If you go somewhere to buy something and need help carrying something you might ask "Can you send me a patojo to help me".

At this place, in the picture, they are looking for a patojo, a young fellow, no academic background needed, to run errands, do cleaning, pick up stuff, make deliveries and do anything and everything required by the "patrono" (boss).

The added requirement for the hired patojo is that he is a patojo chispudo, chispudo meaning sharp. Other guatemalan colloquial words for chispudo: buzo, pilas!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


In small towns you can still see funeral processions marching down the road. Below people are following the funeral car and a truck with the flower. In other cases the casket is carried by the men.

Monday, March 1, 2010


On the way to Xela past the turn to Atitlán we got pulled over at a police check point. As the police was checking our papers I took a picture of this sign. Apparently people that get pulled over or that are waiting for the bus feel they need to relieve themselves here....

The sign reads Prohivido (which really is spelled prohibido) orinar no sea.... [picture of a pig]. "Peeing Prohibited don´t be a pig"