Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rural Guatemala, Trek to Nicaragua, can you compare?

So yesterday we went to a water park about an hour out of Xela which involved riding a chicken bus, named for the commonality of live cargo, for a little over an hour out of the high lands and into the warmer costal area of Guatemala. As we rode out of the city, and we passed coffee plantations with a distinct resemblance to the ones we lived in while in Nica, small timid coffee plants protected by the large leaves from neighboring Banana trees. My two experiences in these countries are hard to compare because, for one they are different countries and two they are experiences based on living among completely different classes. In Guate my family has running water, electricity, a wide variety of diet, TV, internet, a digital camera... etc the list resembles the one that I have living in America... The family in Nica had no electricity, or running water, ate beans, rice and totillas for every meal, lived in a three 4 room house and used corn cobs as torches to privide light at night. I know that families like these exsist in both countries, however my isolated experiences in each make it difficult to figure it out. I also know that as a nation I believe Nica is poorer then Guatemala, and there seems to be a recognition of this among the people in each. One of my only real conversations with my host father in Nica was about how Nica was very poor, and when I came to Guatemala on the first night I was talking about my other travels and my host mom said that Nica is very poor.
One thing that was hard to ignore throughout the Guatemalan countryside was the vast disparity in wealth, homes with no electrical or water lines standing 100 feet away from vast fincas (plantations, farms). Clearly more investigation needs to happen on my part, but with little guidence about the lower class in Guatemala or the upper class in Nicaragua, it is hard to figure out.

1 comment:

bathmate said...

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