First Impressions…

Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay, we have not had Internet for the past few days, so this is from Tuesday May 5th.  More to come!

Hola from Guatemala!  
Yesterday was a longer day than we expected.  We awoke at 3:15 am to begin our travels and arrived in Mexico City at 4:00 pm.  We were supposed to fly out at 8:00, but our flight was delayed and we ended up arriving in Tapachula at our hotel at 2:00 am, so it was a very long day for us, and we were exhausted.  We were very thankful for Clementine, who is from MCC Mexico City who was able to fly with us to Tapachula and translate for us.  It was a bit of a challenge for us to navigate the airport in Mexico City with no translator.   When we arrived in Tapachula, we also met up with Miriam, who works with MCC in Chiapas (Southern Mexico), and have been traveling with her as well.  
Tapachula is the hottest place most of us have experienced.  As soon as we landed, the plane windows fogged up.  When we got off the plane, it was like walking into a sauna, and it was only 1:00am.   We slept fairly well despite the heat because we were so tired.  This morning was a bit rushed.  We went for breakfast and visited an organization called Fray Matias in Tapachula, which is the only organization there that helps migrants.  It was so unbelievably hot, we were all sweating and our clothes were sticking to us, we were all pretty exhausted from the heat. 
We then took a taxi to the Guatemalan border.  We walked along the river that divides Mexico and Guatemala.  The illegal border crossing is right next to the legal border crossing.  We stood along the river and watched people go across on inner tubes right beside the bridge, which is the legal border crossing. Border crossing is so fluid here, and the crossing is vital to the communities on either side of the border.  Some people have families on both sides or go shopping on both sides of the border.  We then walked across the bridge, which is the legal border crossing, and got to experience public transportation in Guatemala.  We were able to take bike taxis, taxis, a mini bus, and a school bus to come up into the highlands to the city of San Marcos, where we are now.  Driving and transport is so different here from what we are used to, and it was really neat to have that experience.  It was approximately a three hour trip up into the highlands, and it was so interesting to feel the air cool down as we climbed the hills.  I went from being so hot in Tapachula that my clothes were sticking to my body, to actually feeling the need to put on a sweater because I was getting goosebumps.  It has been a very nice change to be cooler and be able to even wear pants!
This evening, we went for supper in San Marcos and and experienced some Guatemalan cuisine.  It was delicious!  We were also able to have some down time as a group and laugh a lot together.  The cooler weather has given us all a lot more energy!
I’m off to bed now, but you will hopefully hear more from us when we have internet again!
Buenas Noches,
Erin
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