Guatemala: The People

I walk into one of the many tiendas (cornerstores) along the street. There is a couple who has just entered and a man working behind the counter. We each say, “good evening” to each other, then the man proceeds to help the couple as I look at the wine bottles that line the shelves. This tienda is a little bigger than some others, and I see that they have the bottle of wine I’m looking for – awesome! After waiting patiently for a minute or two, the male half of the couple tells the man to help me, realizing that I’ll be real quick. I pay, thank both men, and say “goodbye” to all three as I walk out with the wine in hand. Smiles all around.

As I walk up the street, passersby greet me with a smile and a “buenos noches”. As I turn onto my callejon (little street/alleyway), I way and say hi to the friendly lady who sells fruit on the corner. I enter the quiet, dark-ish alley, making my way back to my apartment to prep for tonight’s potluck dinner.

This scene is just a typical night in my small town in Guatemala. As my biking buddy so accurately pointed out the other day as we rode to the next town: the Guatemalan people are the most friendly people in the world!!! It’s absolutely true, based on my experience so far, and I am definitely going to miss the warm social climate here. Perhaps I can bring some of Guatemala’s friendliness to wherever I go next (the cold, grey streets of Toronto?).


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