Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 1 of the Great 2014 Guatemala Adventure

We’re here! All of the students, clinicians and faculty have arrived safely and are settling in in Hotel Santa Ana in Antigua. We’ve had a fascinating first day. Our hotel is beautiful—lush gardens, hammocks for relaxing, and a view of the mountains just by walking down the street. After we arrived at our hotel, many of us had time to walk the cobblestone streets to the Antigua market and Central Park. The buildings here are old, colorful and vibrant. It’s so historic and interesting!

Our drive out of Guatemala City was very educational. As we walked out of the airport, we were met by Steve Osborn and his friends, who drove us to Antigua in vans. The traffic was bumper to bumper, and comparable to when there is an accident on both I-71 and I-75. We were in miles and miles of traffic, on busy city streets. The trip was slow enough that we were able to see people going about their days as students, parents, shopkeepers, etc. We took note that many buildings were surrounded by rolled barbed wire, and that many places in Guatemala City (even small stores and fast food places) had armed guards. But, not to worry! Everyone we’ve met has been warm and friendly!
We were able to bring lots of donations (wheelchairs, walkers, therapy toys and equipment), so tonight after dinner, we spent some time organizing them and preparing for our first therapy day on Monday. Tomorrow we have a very full day planned including the Mayan ruins and Lake Atitlan. More to come!

Oh, yes, we promised you emergency contact numbers, and here they are. Carol Scheerer, OT Department chair, asks that you please use these numbers for emergencies only. Here they are:
Leah Dunn 502-4694-7737 Georganna Miller 502-4694-7762 Carol Scheerer 502-4694-7688
Steve Osborn (our in-country contact) 985-664-9641