Friday, August 16, 2013

Dirty Business

One of our clinics canceled today so we decided to use the day to go pick up our passports/visas from the capital. We were planning on spending the night in the City and heading straight for Lake Atitlan for a little weekend getaway tomorrow.  But...we ran into a demonstration held by several local communities protesting the situation with trash disposal for the municipality.  Our local dump was shut down about two months ago when neighbors got fed up with trash ending up on their land.  So the muni has had to look for other options (other deep ravines) that apparently haven't been formally approved.  On several days the trash truck has just set up an overflowing trailer as a makeshift dump at the local soccer field--NICE!  Hence the protests today.  They blocked all the roads heading out of Chichicastenango to the main highway, including all of the back roads the we know of, trying to get the attention of the mayor's office.  One of the firemen said their might be one road open, but not something well maintained in the rainy season.  People were walking along the highway and fighting to get on minivans that would take them to other destinations as no buses were getting through. We thought about offer folks a lift and making some extra cash but decided against that! We certainly understand the anger over this situation, but selfishly are pretty bummed that it interfered with our plans for the day.

So, we turned around and waited at the house until 1:30 when all of a sudden the buses started plowing through town. When things quieted down we headed out and decided to just go to the lake and try for the visas on Monday or Tuesday.  Everything looked pretty back to normal on the highway except for the residue of burned tires at the road block sites.  As we drove it was getting darker and darker from the rain clouds building--not a good sign for us as we still had to get to Panajachel and take a boat to place we rented.  But, we made it, whew!

Now we are hanging at our favorite casita in Santa Cruz La Laguna and watching one heck of a rain storm.  The creek next to the house is flooding from all the rain up in the highlands.  But we are safe and sound and got here without getting soaked--unlike our Eastside venture on the lake!

This is the view we are hoping for tomorrow morning.


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