Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life in Guatemala A to Z: Indigenous and Industrious

The native people in Guatemala are sometimes called Indians, more often referred to as Mayans, or Mayan Indians. They are also called the Indigenous people of Guatemala. However, I can describe them with one word: industrious.

I'll post more about the Mayans when I get to M, because they are fascinating to me. I have never seen such hard-working people in my entire life, and that's saying something coming from Midwest farmer stock and having lived two decades in Utah (state symbol is a honeybee to symbolize industry).

The indigenous people of Guatemala put an American to shame. Whether it's working together as a family, several generations together sharing responsibility for the family occupation, or whether it's education, or just trying to better one's station-- the industrious nature of the Mayan people commands my respect.

There is a family bakery where a young man sits at night over his school books, minding the store in case someone comes in to buy the last of the goods for sale.

Young girls help their mothers daily in open rooms next to the street, where they make and sell fresh tortillas.

Little boys carry around shoeshine kits, running from one tourist to another, offering to shine shoes for a small fee.

Ancient grandmothers in bare feet carry huge loads down from the mountain to sell their wares. No job is too small, no burden too great.


I am glad at least to see this old man is wearing shoes.
Everywhere one sees industrious Mayans going about their business, whatever it is. Whether building or repairing or carrying or selling or creating or sorting or cleaning-- everywhere the work goes on. I feel truly fortunate to share a community with such hard-working people. I admire their industrious natures, and I learn from them each day.




15 comments:

  1. They are all entrepreneurs. No one works harder than those who work for themselves.

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    1. So true! And they don't give up when they make just a couple dollars a day. They just work harder.

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  2. These people work so hard. The pics are great.

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  3. Great pictures and I feel lazy just reading about these people.

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  4. I can taste those tortillas hot off the grill.

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  5. There's still honor in a good day's work there.

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  6. Their industriousness is inspiring.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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  7. They all seem to work so hard. Good luck to everyone !

    Sharu
    www.livelaughlovewithsharu.wordpress.com
    A-Z Participant

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  8. Industrious, and living on the edge. For many families there is no safety net. I have great admiration for their work ethic also.

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  9. Too many people in America have forgotten what hard work is. There are lots of people who have to work lots more than 40 hours per week.

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  10. This is when I complain loudly about my office job and my boss and how I just want to be rich and famous one day, that way I would just sit back, make money, and drink fruity liquids all day.

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    1. Anonymous, Hahahaha, and I know you are someone in my family. I just have to figure out which one LOL.

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  11. That's what us "OLDE" folks did. We worked hard and then worked harder. We were and still are an industrious lot. I NEVER DID dream of being rich and famous or sitting back drinking fruity liquids all day. I am well known here abouts, got some bucks in the bank and my dog Jack is a celebrity. I am happily retired...keeping busy and loving live. I am in a "HAPPY PLACE".
    ha,ha, I loved that "anonymous" comment :)

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  12. Wow, what an inspiring post. We can learn so much from observing how other cultures live. We saw so much of this in Thailand from very poor people...and yet they were some of the happiest people we met. You have a wonderful blog and I will be back to visit. Cheers Tanya from A-Z

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  13. When you have a chance to observe everyday life in places like that. It makes it pretty obvious how spoiled many people are in the U.S. and some other countries. Great post Karen! Your photos are very good also.

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