Today was largely another travel day with some fun activities mixed in. We traveled from Guatemala City to Xela, which is about a 4 to 5 hour drive.
There was a nice excursion in the middle of the bus ride to the last standing Mayan ruin in Guatemala, Iximche.
It was inhabited by the indigenous Kaqchikel in the late 1400s until it was later conquered by the Spaniards. The site was full of palaces, temples, and Mayan ball courts. There was even spaces for traditional fire ceremonies which were used for spiritual purposes.
In all, it was a great experience to learn about Mayan folklore and its intersection with spirituality. Also, learning more about the history of a indigenous group is rather key as we partner with a different indigenous group (Mam) through the Association.
After successfully arriving to Xela, we met with the Association Board for dinner. These women- President, Secretary, Treasurer etc.- come from all over the region and represent the 500 women in the Association.
The dinner was largely to congratulate the Board. This was a challenging year for them, but they rose to the occasion! The Association recently filed its non-profit status with the Guatemalan government which was a huge step forward.
As the Association grows in both membership and support, this is needed; however, it’s not an easy task. It involved procuring a lawyer and complying with all the logistics to become a non-profit. They have made a lot of progress and continue to do so. Most importantly, they inspire all whom they encounter.