Posted by: janetwright2guatemala | 10/09/2010

Tech Town in Guatemala

Hola de Pachalum! This is a town of 2,000 to the north of Antigua…I can still see my beloved volcanoes Agua and Fuego off in the distance, so I don´t feel quite so far from home. My purpose here is to check out more ideas for the work that I may be doing as a muni volunteer.

Our beloved mentor, Devon (en el centro)

This town aspires to be the most connected city in Guatemala…there is WiFi in many locations and security cameras were installed throughout. This has increased safety, such as, reducing the occasional motorcycle racing through the streets, (although it never had much crime.)

Despite the higher tech nature of this town, there are still very remote villages in the surrounding forested hills. Yesterday I hiked half an hour up a path made more for mountain goats than people to reach a women´s group. The topic of the workshop was mercadotecnica or marketing skills, so we led the group in how to market a pastry they already make: ¨chocopan¨ which is a small sweetened roll covered in chocolate and stuck on a stick like a sucker. The task was to create posters advertising their treats…and the 7 women soon got the hang of it, touting that it was available 7 days a week, only 1 meter from the school and had the best choclate taste ever! We then passed on to jewelry making for beaded necklaces and earrings, and I now have an attractive souvenir from my efforts.

Getting creative (handrawn CD cover for Devon)

Tomorrow I head back home which will take me about 3 1/2 hrs comprised of 3 camioneta (chicken bus) rides and one minivan ride. Total cost= 27 quetzales or about $3.50 with plenty of adventure and entertainment thrown in as extras.  It´s so very important for me to venture into new places in this newly adopted home…I have appreciated the warmer climate here, in the high 70sF during the day. So I got my much needed sun rays for a few days!

Devon gets a pop-up birthday card!

Next Thursday I learn what will be my host site for the next 2 yrs…believe me, it´s the only thing all of us trainees are thinking about right now! There will be no fingernails left on our hands!



  1. amazing, what a trip. Who can think about something 2 years away, when you have all this exciting afoot. Love your blogs. Keep up the positive rays.

    When you return, I’ll teach you a blues waltz. pretty cool. You’ll just have to remind me, for by then who knows what fusion dance will be the latest craze. Will keep a warm spot for you on the dance floor.


  2. go girl!

  3. Jan, I am really enjoying reading your messages about all your adventures. I know more now about your daily events than I did when you were in Seattle. It was good to talk to you yesterday and to know that all is well.
    We are getting a new roof on our mobile today, so it’s pretty noisy in the house. Take care and keep the info coming. Love, Mom

  4. Hey, now how does this chocolate marketing drive jibe with your recent nutritional workshop with local moms Janet, and near a school no less; tsk, tsk …

    Good luck in the lottery on Thursday and I hope you get the placement of your dreams. On to the next two years oh adventuress,

  5. Hi Janet!

    I’m imagining your treks up country trails and thinking how different your new reality is compared to your life in Seattle.

    Part of me envies your life away from the big cities of America, and I’m still considering a move to the countryside in some South American country.

    In fact, a trip down to Belize seems like a good place to begin. If/when I do that, I could visit you, once you get enough seniority to be able to have a guest. If memory serves, that won’t happen until you have a year under your belt. Is this true?

    I took a beginning WCS lesson yesterday at The 99. Very instructive! I learned the basic footwork, and realized what I had suspected: I was actually doing it all along, but I wasn’t sure I was, so I needed the confirmation of last night’s lesson. Now I feel empowered! I’m going to take a few more of the lessons offered at the 99 in lieu of a long series of lessons offered up in Jaunita for $135.00 and compulsory joining of the West Coast Swing Club.

    Missing your sweet spirit!

    Michael W

  6. PS Lovely cards you’re creating!

  7. Hi Jan, Well, I finally got my act together and got on your blog site. It is fantastic to see all that you are doing and to see pictures of you and the people and places you are visiting. I just want you to know cuz you are looking great as ever. How do you do it 😉

    I am so very proud of who you are and what you are doing. But, you know this the only way I truly know you… the world traveler. Hope you are over the heavy home sickness. Thanks for the phone call. Hoping and praying that all is well. I have the blog site in my favorites and I signed up, so I’ll be more active.

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