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Discovering the real Guatemala with Valentina

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Discovering the real Guatemala with Valentina Discovering the real Guatemala with Valentina

Discovering the real Guatemala with Valentina






The first thing I learned about Guatemala was a piece of economic data that changed my entire perspective on things. 98% of the Guatemalan population lives in extreme poverty, and a majority of school-age kids has no access to education — young girls especially, as they are mostly trained to be good wives and daughters, and they usually marry at about the age of 13. The remaining 2% of the population is extremely rich, and among this 2%, there are also people who try to help others with charity and fundraising projects, by raising awareness and attracting the world’s attention, in order to change things. Francesca and Alessa are among those who are trying to help, the founders of IX Style and Alessa Design respectively, two Guatemalan fashion brands that often join forces to organize events and charity projects. They were the ones who introduced me to the country’s actual reality, helping me understand what the main issues are, and what is currently being done to help people get out of this situation.
We got to Antigua after a trip that felt very long, and right when we set foot in our accommodation, we were left completely awestruck by Guatemala’s beautiful nature. Our 100% green home, solely built with recycled material, among which old containers, and entirely powered by sustainable energy, was surrounded by the forest, and located in the middle of a valley of active volcanoes, which erupt every day. Imagine, I could see this beautiful natural performance every morning, from my bed!
We spent the first day exploring Antigua, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The town is a little crumbling and very colorful, and it features lots of shops that sell local fabrics: I bought one of their beautiful, colorful cotton pillows and I also got the chance to hone my weaving skills, trying to use one of the manual looms that local artisans use to produce their fabrics. It takes a lot of precision and manual skill, it’s all about pulling the right thread at the right time! I also tried spinning yarn around a spindle, which is actually surprisingly hard, and can also hurt, because the yarn heats up in the process! What struck me the most is that some of the tools we used were self-built, using recovered pieces from other objects, such as a bicycle, because local artisans cannot afford to buy ready-made tools, or buy replacement parts when anything breaks. This was also day one from the food perspective for me: I ate insects for the first time in my life… And I liked them, too!
READ MORE AFTER THE GALLERY

On the second day, we made our way to Lake Atitlan, one of the most beautiful lakes in Guatemala, which is actually experiencing an environmental crisis. The inhabitants throw all sorts of waste into the lake, and experts predict that it will become unsuitable for swimming over the next 3 years… Which would be a shame! The government is trying to help the population see their lake...


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Fonte della notizia: the blonde salad
Fonte della pubblicazione: 13-06-2017 18:52
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