Hilary Hambrick Taft
Hilary Hambrick Taft
Guatemala 2013-2014
I am volunteering at the Monte Cristo Center in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. This family-run community development center provides education, healthcare, & vocational training to the surrounding community. I will assist with teaching English and computer literacy as well as possibly working on a micro-loan fund for local farmers. Read More About Hilary →

I’ll let the photos talk.

To pick just one story about the last two weeks would be too hard... so I’ll just let the photos do the talking.

At the end of January, Eric and I had to make a visa run to Mexico. Suffice it say, it was an insane trip. If you haven’t read Eric’s blog about the great fire we survived, it’s definitely worth your time. We should’ve known it was going to be a crazy trip considering all the wild things we saw on the way there. Here’s two events that I have pictures from:

1. We had to stop 4 times during our 9 hour trip because of a Guatemalan teachers protest for higher wages (which by they way, they totally deserve). Here’s a policeman stopping our van with hundreds of protesters behind him in the middle of the road.

2. A giant truck carrying cattle flipped over on its side, and yep, that’s a cow stuck between the truckbed and the mountainside. About 10 seconds before this picture was taken, those 4 men were trying to right this massive truck with only their brute strength and a chain. They were not very successful, as you can see.



Once we made it to Jacaltenango with our new visa stamps, we went around to tour the beautiful town and play some games at the fair, not knowing it would be up in flames only a few hours later.



For the festival, Papa Meme (the coolest 93 year old man there ever was) and Don Mario stopped at a local candle store to buy candles for the festivities celebrating Mary, or “The Virgin of the Candelaria” as she’s known in Jacal. Hence, the candles.



Here’s a picture of the town parade with men playing the marimba and dancing in the bull headdress. The next one is of  me dancing around in the headdress later that night! Then there’s a glimpse of the wild pyrotechnics that created the evening’s chaos. 




Once safely back in Monte Cristo, life once again filled with days of teaching English. But on Friday we had a blast celebrating Valentine’s day! I entered my office Friday morning to find a beautiful rose waiting for me from some of my students. In the afternoon, we had an activity where the oldest students gave Valentine’s day cards to the youngest students, and we played games and danced in the classrooms that the students decorated.




Then Friday night we went out for Sushi with the family. It was absolutely delicious. They even brought out an early birthday dessert for Eric!




Then on Sunday for Eric’s birthday, we rode up to a beautiful mountain lodge to spend the day reading and relaxing. Check out this amazing view! You can see all the volcanoes and beautiful Antigua below.

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On the way back down the mountain, we stopped at the “Cerro de la Cruz,” a place I’ve been wanting to visit for a while. You can see Antigua closer up with the cross carefully watching over, perhaps working hard to keep the volcano at bay.


Tonight, I find myself thankful that we’ve been watched over as well. Thank you all for your thoughts and constant prayers.

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