January 2009 Delegation continued, to Panajachel and Back

January 17/18, 2009

Saturday morning: after a very emotional week meeting with so many brave survivors and human rights defenders, we slept in then took off for Panajachel, on the shore of scenic Lake Atitlan. We shopped, ate and rested, getting a needed break from the stress of being in the capital city.


Fabrics in the marketplace/main street in Panajachel


Sunset over the Lake

Sunrise finds two fishermen chatting while they bring their nets into their simple boats.

A few of us took a boat ride to nearby Santa Catarina Palopo.

January 19, 2009

Monday morning: back to more about the horrible history of Guatemala at the Police Archives. The Archives focuses on a 10-year period of the armed conflict when the most human rights abuses were perpetrated. These police action records were found stored in dark rooms, tied in bundles, and just thrown in heaps like trash.

The project is to clean, read, scan, and store these records, and cross reference them so that they can be used to possibly investigate crimes committed by officials. To date, though, the Ministerio Publico has not prosecuted any cases, but despite the lack of action, people are making death threats against the workers at the Archives.

Bianca washes the corn in the pila, a large concrete oudoor sink.


Next, she takes it down the street to be ground by machine into dough for tortillas. While not quite as old-school as the hand grinding stone we saw used to make our lunch earlier in the week, this is still pretty hands-on. The food was great, with tamales de chipilin, guacamole, frijoles, and more. We are pleased to see Bianca, whom we help with school expenses, studying in the morning two days a week, and helping her mom at their family restaurant.

After lunch, we took a short walk to the school
where we iniciated our “Hombres contra Feminicio” education program last March. The latest news on this program is that we have a connection to help us get our program into an institution in Guatemala, where it may be able to reach many, many more people. More about that later…


Next we visited a yoga and meditation center in the city that also provides day care for young children. The delegates delivered a workshop

for these children, part of our “Hombres Contra Feminicidio” program, promoting understanding between the genders.

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