Posts Tagged ‘tipica shopping’

American Girls

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Our good friends Kallie and Maya are also here from the States, and one thing both Kallie and I notice is how American our girls are. What’s interesting is that when in California, Olivia and Maya are often referred to as “Guatemalan,” but in their home country they are both from los Estados.

That’s not to say they don’t feel guatemalteca. They do. The second we set foot on Guatemalan soil, Olivia said “This is my country.” Both she and Maya love that everyone looks like them. But there is something about each of them that sets her apart, and it goes beyond the clothes they wear and the fact that they speak English. (And it isn’t their matching tourist purses, either!)

Olivia and I are staying in an apartment complex with neighbors born in Guatemala, now living in Las Vegas. The couple has rented their house in Vegas to live for a year in Guatemala. The husband and wife are volunteering at a local hospital. Their children are enrolled in school.

“Our kids can’t speak Spanish,” the husband says. “They don’t feel Guatemalan.” I was happy to learn, once again,┬áthat the challenge of learning to belong to two cultures is not unique to adoptive parents.


The photos above are of a few adventures with Kallie and Maya: a horse and buggy ride; tipica shopping; and watching one of the many skilled weavers who create the handicrafts. This particular woman was creating a design with a kind of crochet needle. A leather strap supports her as she leans back to work. A point of pride for the best weavers is that the stitches are perfect and even on both sides of the fabric.

If you notice, I’m carrying a repurposed flour sack which is bulging with — umbrellas. My approach to rainy season is to be prepared every minute for the clouds to open. Like the locals, we’ve learned to take it in stride.