Sunday, September 28, 2008

Excursion to Salcaja

Along with making textiles, Salcaja is also know for an alcoholic drink they make, a sort of high ocatane sangria called caldo de frutas. It has a sweet wine taste made from rum, vanilla, suger and various fruits that are mixed together and fermented for 5 months. It is actually quite good in liquid form, but the fermented fruit is pretty potent - just look at Ben's reaction!

Salcaja is also home to the first church (Catholic) in Central America, Iglasia de San Jacinto. The church dates back to 1524. It wasn't open for us to tour the inside, but even from the outside it was interesting. Xela has the second church in Central America which is also Catholic. Considering Mexico is about 98% Catholic, we were actually surprised to learn that Guatemala has many religions, including Evangelical, Mormon, and Presbyterian. Catholicism is less than 60%.

Part of the adventure of this excursion was riding in the chicken buses and mini-buses. These are a few of our classmates from Switzerland, Iceland and America. We are actually embarrassed that we only speak 1 language fluently in comparison to the Europeans. Most of them are working on a 3rd or 4th language. They all speak English almost as well as we do. It is kind of cool that people from all these different countries can bond and converse through the use of English language. We tell ourselves everyday not to feel bad about our primary Spanish skills. At least we are here, trying to do our part in making a difference in the future of America.

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