Written by Nate Smith
The people in Amberes and most of Guatemala are poor; well below American standards. You often will see little kids working and selling fruit or helping out with the family store. The families often live together in small houses made up of 2 or 3 rooms with most of the house outside. Often I think of a house without carpet and drywall. The walls are metal or concrete with no carpet on the floors. It barely feels like your inside. The sounds of the night creep through like your sleeping in a tent and the appearance of spiders is too common.
Not a single family takes these houses for granted. They may not have much but they would be the first to offer you a seat at the dinner table or bag of fruit from their trees. Their love overflows like I imagine the love of Christ overflowed in the early church.
I was in town for the first part of my 2 week trip to be part of the Dia de la Cruz weekend. Dia de la Cruz is the day of the cross and an important holiday in Guatemala. On the day of the cross Danny Casler (national product lead singer) and I carried a wooden cross 3 miles in a parade through outskirts of Santa Rosa Cruz. The sight of the cross brings a smile to these peoples faces. I noticed that the elderly had a special reverence to the cross. They waved and smiled with the enthusiasm of a kid at a candy store. These parades are not a short event either. They tend to last 2-3 hours with a lot of stops and waving. As these people see the face of a white person they wonder immediately why you’re in Guatemala. They hope you are there to love and appreciate their culture.
The country of Guatemala is like a second home for me. The people remember me from the year before. They are excited to see me again and every day I am there. They invite me to their homes and are patient and my Spanish is not the best with them.
Besides being a part of Dia de la Cruz weekend Enoch Magazine had the chance to film a documentary about the Guatemala way of life. We hiked 6 hours into the jungles of Guatemala where the people live with no electricity and no running water. Their lifestyle is so different from the one I am used to. Look for these videos to come out in the next few months.