Monday, February 23, 2009

Guatemala - Safe Passage Part 1

We arrived late Friday night so it was off to bed. Saturday morning we had breakfast at the hotel. This was our first experience with their money. They use Quetzales, which are about 7 to 1 in US dollars. Our bill was Q68. Wow, cheap, only $9(I immediately checked my bank account in the room when we got back) for two buffet breakfasts. Or so we thought, but more on that later :)
We started our tour through the city. There were lots of men with guns guarding places. There is a McDonald’s on every corner and they even deliver on motorcycles. Imagine the obese people in America if McDonald’s delivered?!! Chicken buses are EVERYWHERE! Chicken buses are painted school buses, some with graffiti, and some with chrome wheels, which bring people around. They are way over packed and babies are not in car seats. The doors are wide open and men are usually hanging out, much like the pick-up trucks with loads if people in the back.
We hired a taxi to bring us to the Harley Davidson store, which turned out to be a small store with a couple Harley’s and a few t-shirts. We hired Esdras, our taxi driver, to bring us around the entire time. He spoke some English, but mainly Spanglish was spoken in the teeny tiny car we bee bopped around in. We went to several shops that all sold the same thing, but found the cheapest ones to buy our t-shirts and postcards.
Sunday morning the same breakfast cost Q128. Apparently they only charged us for one buffet on Saturday. Mike said ladies got it for free on (the dreaded) Valentine’s Day. Oh well… We went into Antigua to check out the Safe Passage office. Antigua is an old city with (very bumpy) original cobblestone streets.

On Monday we went 30+ minutes into Antigua, only to be told that we needed to be back in Guatemala City at the GuarderĂ­a (nursery) where the children are.

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