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Saturday, June 30, 2007

We are home in the states from Guate. A long travel day. 3 hours drive from the lake to the airport, then the flight home and then 3 hours from the airport to our home.
We finally had a birthday party for my 17 year old. She had missed it as it happened the day we had to flee our home. Today was the 3rd birthday party for one of my granddaughters. It was nice to be here for it. I will miss the one for my one year old grandaughter on Monday, but hope to see her soon. The states feel so safe. I can leave my doors open when I shop in our little town and my pocketbook in the cart at Wal Mart while I walk a few feet away.

While walking the streets of Panajachel we met an American that has lived down there for over 30 years--20 of those years in Santiago. He moved out 10 years ago because it was difficult. He reiterated that it was a violent area; murders were common. When we mentioned some of the problems the orphanage was experiencing from some powerful ladinos, he said there was an ingrained prejudice against the Mayans. Those in positions of power did not want to help them and made it difficult on those that did because it upset the social stata. The Mayans were at the bottom working for next to nothing ($10/day is great). Many work as guardians and gardeners for $100/month. You can imagine the upheavel if they were to be paid a normal wage. While no one readily admits it, it seems to be a fact of life--not unlike our own problems in the United States.

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