This morning we all arose and went back into San Antonio to have breakfast. We spit up to into two groups to conclude our home stay adventures. There were four of us that went up a hill to the home of a very large family; Juan and his wife have nine children and one grandchild. Their home was very basic, consisting of only one room.
Over a breakfast of tortilla and beans, we discussed education in Belize and in the US. Juan expressed to us the importance of schooling and education and how he wants so much for his children. Education was seen as a very important tool in this home, and reminded me of the values my parents instilled in me. I really enjoyed having breakfast with this close family was very close.
After breakfast and saying our goodbyes, we all left down the hill where we met up with the rest of the group. Juan and his family went to a Baptist service, while we went into town and attended to Catholic service. The cool thing was the entire communion service on Sunday was spoken in Mopan, one of the Mayan languages! It was challenging, at points, to follow along, but we participated when we could.
We then went back to the Farm Inn where we stayed that night and said good bye to our hosts, the four dogs, and Guinea Fowl named Pip. (We all fell in love with Pip!) We took a quick ride into the town of Punta Gorda and the Nazareth Retreat Center. This comfortable retreat house will be our home for the next week…the electric fans in the room will definitely be put to good use during the hot nights! Overall today was a great experience of culture. The traditional Mayan lifestyle is something to be admired. The families in these villages live within a tight community.
Brian Houdek, Class of 2014