This Saturday morning half of Team Impacto woke up at dawn and headed out on a trek to hike to the tallest non-volcanic point in Central America. The climb to the top of “La Torre” was pretty eventful with highlights including dodging herds of sheep, responding to friendly yodels from a few locals, and chasing brightly colored bluish-green lizards once we reached the top. On Sunday the team split up and helped Asesors in San Juan Ixcoy and San Pedro Necta host successful campaigns. When we returned from the campaigns the team enjoyed one last meal at our favorite restaurant “La Fonda,” and played an intense soccer match at the nearby indoor field.

Mayan Ruins near Todos Santos

Monday was an extremely eventful day as we had the opportunity to see Mayan ruins, zip-line across a beautiful gorge in the mountains, and travel to our home-stays for the next week in Todos Santos. Arriving in Todos Santos it was immediately apparent that this next week was going to be extremely different than our first three weeks here in Guatemala. All of the men were dressed in stylish blue and tan hats, blue striped shirts with fancy embroidered collars, and flashy red and white striped pants. When I say all of the men, I mean all of the men from one to ninety-nine. While much about Todos Santos was different, (such as Mam being the primary language and the fact that the town was situated in the middle of some of the tallest mountains in Central America) the people were the same happy and friendly people we have come to know here. Throughout the week Team Impacto participated in two more publicity campaigns, two community cooking and nutrition demonstrations with local women, and worked many hours each day on our team project to motivate SolCom’s ACs.

While I formed countless memories while in Todos Santos, I will share two especially memorable moments while here in Todos Santos. One involves a rock concert and the other involves a power outage. Friday night the entire team decided to attend a concert held inside the local high school gym. After paying for our tickets at the door we were given several shout outs by the performers over the mic as “the group of Americans in the front,” participated in a dance off circle with some talented young local dancers, and even invented our own dance which consisted of acting out making, passing out, and eating tortillas. It was a night that many of us will never forget. Now on to the power outage. If you’re currently living in the US or have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, let me inform you that we are in the middle of the most important sporting event in the world, The World Cup. It just so happened that the US vs. Portugal game was scheduled to be on TV during one of our free afternoons which also happened to be the one afternoon when Todos Santos experienced a power outage. Frustrated but realizing this was part of normal life here, the group set out to roam the town only to find a small shop that had an emergency generator and was showing the game. Although we ended up tying the game 2-2, it was extremely fun standing in the street peering through a store window in a crowd of Americans and Guatemalans alike, all watching the very exciting game.

That night my family and I sat around the wood burning stove and ate our dinner by the light of the stove and a small candle sitting atop a glass coke bottle acting as a candlestick. As team Impacto’s chapter in Huehuetenango comes to a close, I think I speak for the whole team when I say we had an incredible experience in Chiantla and Todos Santos and we’re very sad to leave the place we have called home for the past two weeks. With no regrets and many fond memories, team Impacto is headed back to Antigua for a week and then on to our second field site, Xela.