This is a personal passion that Chris and I have become exposed to. I blogged about this briefly on my old blog. But now that I have the new blog…and didn’t transfer over old posts. I thought I would post again… plus I can show off these lovely photos large.
I have been working on a project with these… I couldn’t help but go through all sorts of emotions as we are soon to prepare for our up coming trip once again. I couldn’t help but grow an attachment to these beautiful people… the trip taught me so much about myself, life, how I view life… the visit truly was a life changing experience for me. And I can’t wait to go back and visit the families of Villa Linda again soon.
In April 2004, 24 families organized themselves to seek help as a group in order to buy land. In doing so, they hoped to improve their living conditions and establish their own community. The group, led by president Pablo Juan Pablo, recently received a long-term loan from Agros International to purchase land on the Finca Ultra Marina, about .2 miles from where they currently lived. Among the community’s goals are ownership of a store and corn grinder and learning important skills such as bricklaying, carpentry, baking and weaving. A few members would also like to receive training in health promotion and midwifery.
The land that the group purchased is located near a current Agros Village, Nueva Primarvera, and is roughly 13 miles from the market in the larger town of Barillas. The land is situated on a road, which will make access to the community much easier. Many natural resources are available and the community is eager to begin new projects to add diversity to their farms. The families of Villa Linda have made so much progress just in the time since we have been there. So exciting!
We flew into Guatemala City and took a two day journey via 4 wheel drive to Villa Linda. Along the way we saw such amazing country and neat villages.
Beautiful country on the way to Villa Linda.
Just outside and above the villageThe bridge just outside the village. We crossed this at night, not knowing what it looked like or how tall it was.Here I am standing on it the day we left the village… it was TALL!While I was in the village I had the privilege of taking a family portrait of each of the 20 families in Villa Linda. They were later provided to each family… for many, it was probably the first family photo ever taken of them. The families of the village are of indigenous Mayan descent.The first mother I saw with her child… the first family we visited… I will never forget the love between these too. The children are amazing! They are so happy and loving. The children wanted to always be holding hands, touching, looking into your eyes they had a lot of affection to give…and they were completely obsessed with looking at themselves in the display on the back of my camera. It was priceless!The first type of houses built when they formed the village were the bamboo stick homes with a corrugated metal roof and dirt floors … you can see an example of this in the back ground. Eventually the familes built newer homes on cement slabs with thick wooden walls. Some families still utilize the traditional bamboo houses. This was the kitchen of this sweet couple… they lived traditionally. Most of the woman and children dress very tradition with these beautiful and colorful fabrics. We learned that there are many variations with in this traditional clothing and you will notice the differences as you travel from different villages.I adored the people and all the beautiful clothing.After school the kids would go help their parents with chores such as gathering wood for the fire and picking beans in the crops.A few times a week they open up the corn grinder. All the women and young girls in the village will line up with their bowls of corn. The grinder mashes the corn down into a paste which they will use to make their tortillas and tamales and various other food items.They have a community stove utilized for baking.The women and men work from sun up to sun down. The women of the village are very busy taking care of their children, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry…. the men spend all day working on various jobs planting, working in the crops and building things. While we were there we helped with the planting of medicinal plants, built a green house, vaccinated chickens and pigs.