Guns In Guatemala

First Day at a Guatemala Orphanage

The warm sun shone through the hostel’s curtains and onto my face as I woke up reminding me I wasn’t in Canada anymore. The night before we had arrived in Rio Dulce at about 10 o’clock after a 5 hour bus ride. My gut tightened with anticipation as I wondered what the first day of volunteering at Casa Guatemala would be like. After packing up and grabbing a quick bite to eat at Hotel Backpackers, the hostel we were staying at, we got into the small motorboat that was going to take us to the orphanage.

Climbing aboard I thought I saw something glinting on the captain’s belt. Looking closer I noticed to my shock that it was a silver handgun. The only things on the boat were a cooler of food and a couple of luggage bags. But in Guatemala you can never be too careful and everything needs protection. (I learned this earlier in the week after walking by not only banks but also small and big businesses and seeing several armed gaurds inside)

After a couple of tries the boat driver got the engine going and started backing up. We had to hold our breath as we backed up through the exhaust fumes but they soon cleared as we took off. About 20 minutes later we arrived and after greeting the volunteers who were there to meet us. One of them took us on a detailed 3 hour tour of the orphanages farm and the buildings the children lived and schooled in.

We were then given some free time to play some games and get to know the kids. Before we knew it, it was time to go. After saying our goodbye’s we got on the boat and headed back to our hotel.

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