We are now over a month into our travels and are in a 3rd country on our way south through Central America. We can sum up a few things that shocked us along the way. Traveling through Central America and especially Guatemala it doesn’t take long to realise we’re some of the tallest people around here, where for European size we are just an average hight.
Unfortunately behind the colourful exterior of the country, Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. The people here are seriously suffering of malnutrition. Even if their food intake in calories is enough, they still lack the varied nutrition and vitamins needed for healthy development. Even the farming families would rather sell there harvests than consume it them selves. We were very lucky because our couch-surfing host, Jo Lori, works for a charity – Mayan families. She was able to show us the charity and how they were helping. It was unbelievable to see the challenges they faced with poverty, education and general health, a real eye opener to the country in general. Behind the amazing landscapes and bright colours of the building and people, there are some serious underlying issues.
The charity is seriously impressive, tackling as much as it can from helping children through education and if there fortunate enough university. They are supply medical advise and clean water filters. It sounds so basic but the importance is huge. I can’t do it justice. There website (https://www.mayanfamilies.org/) is well worth a look at and please do, you don’t realise how lucky you are until you see a boy aged 7 not able to have an education. Forced to clean shoes on the street for a few pennies.
Talking of jobs here, there is a job almost for everything, right down to someone counting out toilet paper and charging you for the shocking experience a public toilet brings. A huge market for work here is tourism, you will find you can’t walk down a street without someone selling you something they’ve made, to tours and food. There prices can also vary dramatically in some cases you pay double or even triple to what the locals are paying, a strange concept for us, but I guess this is how they are feeding their families.