Thinking back on my visit to my friend’s house last Saturday, I can’t help but feel like being here as a gringa woman is so incredibly different then if I lived here like she does. My friend is a year younger than me and still has to ask permission to go anywhere, invite her friends to her house before going to theirs, and sleeping over anywhere is unheard of. The lack of freedom is unreal, and though she doesn’t share much about how her family treats her, I have heard enough to know that she lives a hard life.
We watched the movie and went to the market for some chicken and then she made an early dinner for us. The kitchen lights didn’t work and she had to cook on a portable burner because the stove was broke. After dinner she took the first two busses with me so I wouldn’t get lost and then Simón met us and took the last two with me. Getting around here is really complicated. My friend and I had a good time, but at the end of the day I was glad to be back to the house I am staying in.
Today was the inauguration of the new IUMUSAC headquarters. Simón and I arrived bright and early to attend the brief series of ceremonies in their new office and next door at IDHUSAC, the Human Rights Institute of USAC. The ceremony was also to recognize the president of USAC, Lic. Estuardo Galvez, and the Secretary General, Dr. Carlos Alvarado Cerezo, for their contribution and support of Guatemalan women university students.
After the ceremony we were drinking coffee and Pili, one of the students from the USAC workshops approached Simón and I about doing workshops with VOLUSAC, a USAC volunteer group she has been working with. We agreed to meet with her tomorrow and exchanged contact information.
Next, we went to the Palacio Nacional so Simon could pick up a paycheck from one of his cuaderno workshops and I decided to visit my friend Jenny in the office of the Palacio’s art gallery. Jenny and I made a lunch date for the next day at 1pm, after my meeting with IUMUSAC and before the meeting with VOLUSAC and I was excited to be planning for my first real outing where I would need to walk alone.