Posted by: janetwright2guatemala | 12/01/2010

Dia de Gracias (Thanksgiving)

30 noviembre 2010-martes

Proud Mamacita and son, Alex

Happy Birthday to my son, Alex! My big guy (literally- he’s 6’3”!) turned 22 years old yesterday…although my physical being is in Guatemala, I was with him in spirit.

So much to be thankful for this year….the opportunity to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in this beautiful country of Guatemala which struggles valiantly to meet its citizens’ needs. Gracias for the rose-colored sunrise that greeted me on Thanksgiving Day as I headed to the mountain town of Nebaj. The fog hung about the waist of the distant mountains, their peaks piercing the mist…so similar to the scene in Puget Sound. Danke for the woven wool scarf wrapped about my neck as I gazed out on the frost-covered fields, bouncing along the highway in one of the many former American school buses that serve as the main transit for this country.

Merci beaucoup for the voicemail from my daughter, Michelle, and the cell phone technology that enabled me to speak with both my children this very first Thanksgiving away from them. I am indeed blessed to have raised my dear children and held them close throughout their childhood…only a few days ago my heartstrings were tugged deeply by the young woman at my muni office who beseechingly asked me to take her with me when I return to the U.S. For the past 10yrs she has not seen her own mother who fled to the U.S. to make a living, but paid a heavy price by leaving her daughter behind.

Maltiox (K’iche’ for thank you) to Peace Corps for granting vacation time so that I could meet up with fellow volunteers in the quaint town of Nebaj, where colorful red skirts graced their women. Staying at Popi’s hostal, run by Don, an American who has adopted Guatemala as his home, we were treated to a five-star Thanksgiving meal! Both Americans and Guatemalans broke bread together, sharing the warmth of this special day together.

A special thanks to my family and friends who bestow their compassion upon me…we are bound together in spirit to make this world a better place…adding friends as we go!



  1. Hi Janet,

    Thanks for your e mail and this post. Very poignant story about the little girl wanting to come home with you. ;-[

    Loved the pics, especially the one with you out in what appears to be a beautiful countryside.

    In respect to weather, it’s lousy up here in the great NW. I was stranded overnight at a friend’s house last week because of a snow and cold snap. But through stealth, craft, and a little luck, made it home later off of a humongous hill that had previously been lethal because of the compacted snow.

    My shoulder is getting better, but I will have the MRI tomorrow. I’m very curious about whether or not there is anything structurally wrong with it. Um, I danced six dances over four days last week, but I want you to know I was VERY cautious and, gasp, moderate! And oh so mellow.

    Keep them cards and letters comin’. I really enjoy them, as I know the others do as well.

    Cheers and Hugs,


  2. So thankfull you are enjoying your stay as Peace Corp Volunteer.

  3. The young woman at our muni appears to be in her early 20s, but she would have been a young teen when her mother left for the U.S…so many similar cases here in Guatemala with families split apart by immigration and seeking to make a living.

  4. looks like I owe you an apology, Janet.
    I’ve been telling everyone you’re 28.

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