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Three Anderson County students and their Spanish teacher started summer vacation with an eight-day educational trip to Guatemala, according to a news release.
Amber Hume, Lajeana Wright and Elle Woolery, accompanied by Sylvia Hensley and her husband John, flew to Antigua, the original capitol of Mesoamerica.
In Guatemala, they toured colonial churches and cathedrals, listened to demonstrations at the Museum of Mayan Music, saw the workings of a coffee plantation and a macadamia farm, haggled for handcrafted goods, and watched Mayan weavers at work in the markets.
They heard talks on Guatemalan history and politics.
They saw active volcanoes and lush tropical vegetation, climbed Mayan pyramids rising out of the jungle in Tikal National Park, and walked on black sand beaches on the Pacific Coast at Monterrico.
They converted dollars to quetzales, loved Guatemalan cuisine, and learned to mambo, merengue, and salsa at a Spanish language school.
They helped with homework at an after-school non-profit day care for underprivileged kids and distributed Spanish children’s books, crayons, coloring books, puzzles, and American candy, creating a (happy) mini-riot.
The trip was an eye-opening look at three worlds: the pre-Columbian Maya, the colonial era, and present-day life in a developing country, the news release said.