Monday, September 14, 2009

Arrival in Guatemala City, Guatemala (September 13, 2009)

The sign read “Centro Ann Sullivan Guatemala”. Those words indicated that the two women holding it were there for us. The Centro Ann Sullivan is the community center for kids with disabilities in Guatemala City where Juleen (and Joe) are helping out these next few weeks.
Once at the center, we were greeted with a welcome sign (see picture), seven singing women and lunch. Quite an introduction. After lunch we observed therapy sessions, headed home--we’re staying with the founder of the center in her quaint home thirty minutes outside of the city--, had a “cena” and were in bed by 7pm.

Day two started at 5am--we had to beat the Independence Day weekend traffic into Guatemala City. All of the Ann Sullivan centers—they are in nine different countries, predominantly in Central and South America--had a teleconference. After spending a few hours stretching our brains to understand the Spanish in the teleconference, Igor and Sophia (our wonderful hosts) took us to Antigua, a colonial city, with their two young children. We had lunch, the biggest meal of the day, at an old coffee plantation, and we got the first taste of independent traveling. The two of us walked the streets of the city, admired a few churches, and when to a museum exhibit about a Guatemalan photographer (Julio Zadik??).

On the third day our hosts took us out (again)! This time we went to Mayan ruins about an hour from Guatemala City. We spent the day walking about the beautiful ruins of Iximche (see photo of Joe being sacrificed on the ceremonial sacrificial ruins).

In all, things couldn’t be better (other than our broken Spanish, though it has improved significantly since our arrival). Our hosts are patient and kind; they are wonderful at explaining and re-explaining their stories to us. This week we are looking forward to celebrating Guatemala’s independence day (September 15, 1821) and working at Centro Ann Sullivan Guatemala.


  1. I feel caught up.

    While you guys are stretching your brain and feeling useful, I was lounging on the deck at Glen Lake. Seems like this will help keep the world in balance. Happy to do my part and thankful that you guys are doing yours.

    Eat something for me... I've certainly been eating something for you.

    Also, thanks for the pictures of the cottage and Aunt Gerry. Glad it worked out.

    More later...

  2. You're certainly off to a great start! I can't believe all the exploring you've already done. Can't wait to hear more about the work you'll be doing. Glad you made it safely and that you are well.
    The Tribune is now posting a countdown to the 2016 Olympics announcement, and the CTA is running sound bytes from former olympians in support of bringing the games to Chicago. It's wild when they sort of come out of no where on the bus.

    Stay connected!

  3. I like Joe. I'm not sure I'm in favor of sacrificing him -- well, I guess it depends upon why and for what result. ;-)