We woke up bright and early to head to Guatemala City for a day full of planned activities. I knew something wasn’t right when I woke up, but I forced myself into the shower and got ready to depart. Many students had already bailed on the trip, in fear of political protests in the city, but I knew I couldn’t miss it. After about 30 minutes into the bus ride, I felt myself heating up and getting nauseous. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the streets in Guatemala are winding, and usually filled with traffic. In a twenty-passenger bus, it’s a one-way ticket to car sickness. I yelled up to the front to ask Dr. Hale for a plastic bag and became the first and only person to throw up on the bus during the entire trip. Once we arrived at our first stop, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, I got some fresh air and started to feel better. Our original plans to visit government buildings were readjusted to avoid protests in the area. Although peaceful, the protests blocked off major roads are van would need to go on to reach any of the planed destinations. We went into the University’s museum with our tour guide and got to see hundreds of Mayan artifacts. Afterwards, I convinced the group to go to the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Textiles and Clothing across the courtyard. Inside, we learned about the ends and outs of Mayan weaving and got to see artifacts from the past four hundred years. As a textile artist myself, I enjoyed learning more about the different embroidery techniques and supplies used by the women. Afterwards, we headed to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, and I enjoyed a plate of quesadillas.

Once we were done with lunch, we got back into the vans and headed to zone 16 of Guatemala City, called Cayala. We stayed at the AC by Marriot Hotel, and we all got our own room because only seven of us went on the trip. The hotel was extremely fancy, and we were even greeted with a complemtary garnished rosemary green apple mocktail at our arrival. Dr. Hale made sure to remind us to take into consideration the extremes of poverty and now, wealth, that we were experiencing on the trip. Cayala is a modern, expensive area, filled with uniform white buildings containing luxury stores. After putting out bags in our rooms, we walked around the shopping center next to the hotel and stopped at San Martin, a chain cafe in Guatemala, for a coffee and pastries. After getting stuck in the rain, we relaxed at the hotel and got ready for dinner at an American themed sports bar. After a delicious burger, I was exhausted from the day. The group retired to the hotel to play cards and get ready for an early departure. The next morning, we left early and headed back to Antigua to get ready for class that afternoon.