Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dona Thelma's House

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of our trip every year is the visit to the home of Dona Thelma and her husband Luis just outside of Momostenango

It's a long winding, sometimes slippy walk halfway down the side of a mountain to get to the house, but the views on the way down and once you get there are more than worth it.

While there, the students learn about how many of the beautiful handicrafts that are so readily available in Guatemala are made. The house where Dona Thelma lives has been in her family for five generations and the many of the looms that they use are hundreds of years old. The house was literally split in two by a mudslide during Hurricane Stan back in 2005, but fortunately the family was all safe and they were actually able to restructure and rebuild the destroyed portions of the house better than they were before. 

After the students have had a chance to learn a bit about how the wool is gathered, processed, died
and then turned into some of the lovely pieces, they all get a hand at trying out some of the process. There is an opportunity to spin yarn on a spinning wheel (no Sleeping Beauty's here!) and to pull some wool. 
The visit to Dona Thelma's is always great too because it allows the students to really see how many rural Guatemalans live, with livestock right there in and around the house. There are chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats and cows. This year the cows reminded us what city kids the D.C. students really are. There was a Holstein cow and a Brahman calf and it was the gray, floppy-eared calf that really threw the students off. One thought it was a donkey and another wanted to know what was the animal in front of the Holstein. Learning lessons every day! 

Even though the whole visit to Dona Thelma's house is great, the best part (at least for this blogger) is getting to make your own tortillas and enjoy some of Dona Thelma's fresh, warm tortillas with beans, picante, guacamole, and cheese.
The tortillas are so good even Tee ate some! :)

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