A Poem To My Mayan Family | When Guatemala Offered Me A Seat At The Table

The greatest part of my Central American experience was when we were given the amazing opportunity to take part in a homestay with a Mayan family. It was the perfect way to experience a culutre so different from my own. As I return to my own family after being abroad for what seems like forever, I look back at my other, Mayan family who welcomed me into their home. What I took from the experience was this; I will never forget sitting at the table eating the meal that we prepared together. Trying to communite with each other the best we could, with my very basic Spanish and their very basic English. Despite challenges over language we were able to still have a common connection over food, in a small house halfway across the world.

When Guatemala Offered Me a Seat At The Table.

Although we speak with a different tongue
guessing at words while simultaneously eager to understand their meaning.
We are introduced to your community in the hills.
You show us your church, your local school and businesses.
Children play basketball,
shouting to each other in a mixture of Mayan and Spanish,
before showing us your abode.
Corrigated metal for walls,
no doors, no doors are needed.
Your abeula who sits in the corner. Wrinkled hands placed on her lap
helping her daughter cook a meal
for people from different lands, backgrounds and circumstances,
all eager for a taste of your culture
nourishing their lips like orange juice.
I accept the chair your offer me at the table.
I eat the meal you lovingly cooked.
I don’t even do this at home
because something interesting is on the television.
I remember teaching you the word ‘peaceful’
over bread
and a Guatemalan history lesson.
The note I left you,
words are the best gift I can give you
as you gave me the greatest gift.
An insight into a loving family and a community
nestled between jungle and lake.
Thank you
you are all still in my heart as I reminisce
about our connection
over bread.

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