Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Providing Life Skills For Rural Mayan Girls -EDUCATE A WOMAN CHANGE THE WORLD-

Dear Readers,

I am writing  to strongly encourage you to donate to this project. It is a well managed project impacting the population, that in my opinion,  is the most vulnerable and at the same time the one that can create the most impact: MAYAN GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN. Education can transform a woman's life and the prospects of her family and community.

42% of the population is Mayan Indigena
75% live in poverty conditions
74% of the girls under 10 are registered in school
19% are still in school by age 16.

Education is not valued and encouraged enough in Mayan communities and certainly it is less of a priority  to educate women. When girls are old enough to start working around the house or in the field they are taken out of school, some will start having children by age 14 and even if they want to keep studying the family decision prevails. This project  is making a strong intentional effort to provide opportunities to Mayan women to have a safe environment to grow their intellectual and life skills, working also on their self image and self appreciation.

The project works with young women between 17 an 20 years old, teaching them leadership and life skills through a scholarship and a payed internship with the ONG.

Young women  then work in the community with young girls between 10 and 15 years old and their mothers on skills such as decision making, team work, life planning, reproductive health, etc.

During this 30 day fundraising if  $20,000 is reached international donations will be doubled. Take a minute or two to explore the web site, there is no small amount, donations start at $10.00.


Educate a Girl, a Woman, Change the World

Give Now

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


On my way back form doing a summer course at YALE ( I had to throw that in), in the Miami Airport a saw the mural for the project 100 Latinos Miami. Of course, I stopped to see if there were any Guatemalans and sure enough I found two!!! The pictures below are from the expo.

You can download the publication here.

The two Guatemalans are:

Patricia Gutierrez
 In 2009 through the Pollo Campero Foundation she inaugurated an oncological pediatric unit in Guatemala which is sustained through her public relations work facilitating the collaboration of her family's foundation and other foundations. Every time her family business opens a new restaurant, they make a donation to help a child victim of a terminal disease. Answering the questions as to how many children have been benefited she affirms the she knows they are thousands, in Guatemala and the US, yet they will always seem a few.   From the 100 Latinos Miami publication.

Bernando Villela
"Came to the US in search of an specialization and found a mission that has now ceased. On top of his professional success, his greatest rewards have come from community service in the organization of his immigrant friends on the Coalition for Guatemalan Immigrants. He has worked in that organization for more than 20 years giving free dental service along with other colleagues.
He is convinced that millions of illegal immigrants need to get ahead and be incorporated  into society through an integral reform to the immigration system. With great generosity he and his colleagues have donated more the 3 million dollars in free consultations in which all the materials come from his own practice and all the service time offered by the professionals is free of charge" From the publication 100 latinos Miami.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Going Bananas

Yesterday with our Somalian cab driver who picked us up at the Salt Lake City International Airport we where competing for whose country was suffering more... my country he said is suffering from the civil war, mine I said from the drug war, my people are dying of hunger, mine I claimed are dying from preventable diseases living next to open sewage, etc. Then we went on to exports I asked him if they exported coffee: he said no, we export sugar and bananas (not the get your country rich formula), we do too I said. We concluded we where both banana republics in the full sense of the expression.
Later my husband added they also export pirates to which I added a my girls for prostitution. The world is truly going bananas.
Today I am catching an early flight to Denver bought a banana and then thought hmm I wonder if its from Somalia or Guatemala. Well as you can see in the picture is from the latter. A $1.00 banana like the ones I get back home for $1.40 a dozen.
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Mazatenango, the 'cabecera' -capital- of Suchitepequez, means  land of deer: Mazate - deer, nango-land. The name was given by the Nahuatl people who came with the Spanish from what now is Mexico.

In the picture the recently built fountain in a rotunda that created traffic confusion since nobody knew who had the right of way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Miss Independence and Miss Monja Blanca

At zona 18 an Independence day parade from Escuela La Esperanza. Band, floats, ballons, flags.
Yosselyn, on the right, is Miss Monja blanca.
Not to sadden the day but let me tell you about her: I met her during campaign because we couldn't help noticing her skin problems. We started helping her with doctors and medicine and as we find out more we meet her sweet but illiterate mom, her brother who is 10 on first grade because on his mom's words his brain didn't ripen well and her older unemployed brother. I just talked to her frustrated teacher and principal to see if we could meet. With not a lot of hope they agreed. We shall meet next.
Ok now we are off with my girls to eat crepes at Oakland Mall... (Yes I am being sarcastic -but we are going-)

Hmmm Happy Birthday Guatemala... Birthday wish: Health and Education for EVERYONE.
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Election day!

Election post open a 7am but logistics, observers, etc already there.
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aves del Paraiso. Birds from Paradise.

One of my favorite flowers. In the city you don't see them that often on bush. I love them for how exotic they are but also because they keep long in vase (up to three weeks)
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I recently went to  Yale for a summer course (and I am saying this with the sole purpose of bragging) I did went to every museum I could fit in my schedule and did my usual scavenger hunt of Guatemalan pieces.  This time I found  some at THE YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY.  The following to caught my eye. The pair of earings  and the pendant which for the size, not taller than a gum stick,  had so much detail.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

RABANOS - Radishes

This is the market, that had a vendor, who had a basket full of BIG radishes, which I purchased for Q2.00 the bunch of 10 radishes.

It seems AWFULLY cheap about 16 american cents for 10 radishes.

The town: Magadalena Milpas Altas. It is believed to have been established in 1692 as a camp for silver prospectors.

I will ask my mom to prepare one of my favorite dishes: green bean, radishes and feta salad!
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Toy and Candy

Typical street store in front of a town Church. At Magdalena Milpas Altas.
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On my way to the Latin American Heritage Camp

With some remorse of leaving in the middle of the campaign, I am with a lot of excitement going for the second time to the Latin American Heritage Camp.
This time I will be presenting The pilgrimage to Esquipulas with a Hats from Esquipulas craft, Easter with a sawdust rug workshop and The Day of the Dead with a kite workshop.
The topic of the camp is 'What's hot in Latin America'. In Guatemala what is boiling hot are the elections and what is cool is CREO. That is why today I am riding the plane with my CREO jacket on!!!

Picture: shot from airport in the background apartment buildings Zone 14.
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clay knick knacks

At Central Market Guatemala city. This big pile caught my eye. I did not dare to touch it!
CIAV cambiando vidas. Sent from my mobile.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Running for Congress

Dear reader,

I just wanted to let you know I am running for congress and I could not feel more proud of the people I am running with and the party: CREO!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


During the Mayan Cosmovision workshop I blogged about  yesterday there was a lot of talk about "synchronization".

1. The Galactic Synchronization which is a fundamental change that the solar system will experience, in 2012, after finishing crossing the Galactic Beam. A  milestone that will mark the beginning of a new era of the cosmic conscience expanded through a synchronization to a higher elevated Galactic Intelligence, a quantic leap to a next dimension.

2. Synchronization: the coordination of events for something to take place and the connection of your inner world with the connection of the present..

Any way.....

What one of the friends I was with said at the end of the workshop was "after all this synchronization talk I am craving some SINCRONIZADAS!!!"

So the next day I decided I would make some for lunch, introducing them for the first time to my girls.

Sincronizada Casserole Recipe:

One layer of corn tortillas, hand made with Maseca
One layer of ham
One layer of yellow cheese
Repeat the layering
Finish with a layer of tortillas 
Pour 1/2 liter Pomi sauce
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Put in the oven at 350F degrees for 20 minutes.

So there. I hope this dish will get your taste buds in sync!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Yesterday I was part of the workshop "Creer es Crear" with Santiago and Tisa  Pando..... WOW!

It was a first but a deep first real exposure to the Mayan Vision  but not at an academic level but at a personal level.  I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE (Guatemala, Mayan World), NOW (2012)!!

Right now it is to soon to tell you more about this I think I will learn more through time. But I want to leave you with  Santiagos, Tisas and Daniel's first movie. You can watch it online or download it at http://www.creerescrear.com/

I also want to share some of my notes from yesterday:

  • The mayans are creational society
  • They live at a a higher vibratory frequency
  • Resurge the heart as the meeting point of men.
  • The citizen revolution will cristalize in latinamerica
  • the spiritual focal point of the world will be the Mayan world
  • The union of both hemispheres is "to believe is to create"
  • One hemisphere elevates us the other one connects us to the earth to our ancestors.
  • The macro universe is that with in the micro universe is the one we see.
  • Be responsible 360 degrees.
  • We are artists not actors 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Nony or Guanoni is a fruit believe to cure diabetis. It is highly anti-oxidant, slowing the aging process. Its is believed to have been brought to America from India as a medicinal plant.
The nony tree in the picture is in Izabal at the entrance of the Siete Altares waterfalls.

You can now find Nony or Guanoni extract at supermarkets thanks to a Guatemalan couple who in 2005 applied to a USAID funding to start a Guanoni plantation and processing plant. Three hundred sixty projects were presented and this was one of the twelve selected.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something big is coming soon...

So reads the sign at Hiper Paiz the biggest Guatemalan chain that was bought by Walmart a bit over 5 years ago. What is coming? A big Walmart sign... Friday Hiper Paiz will officially become Walmart!

I remember my grandmother telling me how she recalled the first store of Mr. Carlos Paiz a store where he first started selling thread and ribbons and to then become a retail empire in Guatemala. His story was published in the book La historia de Carlos Paiz. Un hombre de Guatemala

 It is somewhat nostalgic to know such an iconic name will now remain for a few years in the memory of some generations, then as a story told by grandma, to then disappear. Wisely Walmart did the transitions patiently. No big announcements were made when it was purchased, about a year later the employees started wearing badges that said Walmart, they started the always low prices policy, they slowly changed the look and feel, new stores looked more like Walmart but they were still Paiz and now I shall update over the weekend this post with the Walmart sign.

We used to live in the Boulder, where Walmart is banned. I used to drive 40 minutes to go to a Walmart. When we lived in Kansas from Baldwin City to the closest super Walmart it was also about a 40 minute drive. People thought that was to much driving for a Walmart and I said "well when I lived in Guatemala I had to take a plane to go to Walmart". Going to Walmart was a highlight in any trip to the US. Now they are officially here in Guatemala close to home....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Celebration of Beatification of John Paul II

He has got he heart of Guatemala. Again a display of love for him as it was show again and again during his three visits to Guatemala!
Mass celebrated at The Monument John Paul II at avenida las Americas. Guatemala City.
Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The expression "Sacar los trapitos al sol" is what this man is literally doing taking his rags out to the sun. The expression is an equivalent to the expression "airing out your dirty laundry". Meaning that things, usually ones you don't want anybody to know, are revealed to the public.
In this electoral year  the media will make sure that all the trapitos (rags) of the politics salgan al sol (are taken out to the sun ).
This picture was taken last Sunday on 9th street and 12th avenue Zone 1. The faded sign painted on the wall says Fabrica de Piñatas Nery - Nery´s Piñata Factory-. Directly under, on the first floor, you can see the ears of a Piñata in the storefront.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Bunny and Mickey Mouse @ a Guatemalan Easter.

Apparently Mickey Mouse is a cargador (bearer) of the Good Friday procession and the Easter bunny is a cucurucho of Candelaria.
They were both at a mobile cart that sells the tunics, gloves and other garments needed to bear the procession.
Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oysters - Ostras

Oyster was the appetizer we had by the side pool at our friends. We are enjoying the pleasure of having friends with a weekend beach house!
Their house is at San Marino, a weekend gated community, at about 2km east of Puerto Quetzal.

Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.


This mango tree is happily showing off its mangos decorating it as Christmas Ornaments. The tree is 500mts from the ocean waking up to a temperature of 80F at F at 600 am to a 60% humidity aprox.
Mangoes definetly a tropical fruit!!
Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Banana Dolphins!

Pero mira como beben los peces en el rio!
Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.

Firefighters bearing the Procesion de Jesus de las Palmas

Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.

Romans and Cucuruchos

The romans are a new addition to the vendor repertoire.
Sent from my mobile. CIAV cambiando vidas.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Agua Blanca Jutiapa

Trying to get to Esquipulas from Guatemala city via Jutiapa, we took the wrong turn into the town of Agua Blanca.
This became the official watermelon stop of the trip. We got to watermelons for Q16.00 ($2.00) out of the watermelon corral.

Sent from my mobile. CIAV, Cambiando Vidas

Wednesday, January 19, 2011