I lived in Guatemala for a few years, but had not visited for 6 years. Going back was a great experience for me. Being there as a photographer for the first time made everything feel so new to me, yet so incredibly familiar.
As the plane gets lower and all the boxy houses appear I feel a little bit of culture shock. It’s so incredibly different from where I live now. Excitement overcomes me in the plane for the adventure I’m about to have.
At the airport we are greeted by warm air. I had almost forgotten what this felt like since back home in Chicago it was snowing and -30 F. A friend picks us up and we drive through Guatemala City to a bus stop.
This place is called Paseo Cayala and it was built while I was gone. It’s a beautiful independent city in the middle of the chaotic Guatemala city.
We make it to the bus stop and take a 5 hour bus ride from Guatemala City to Gualan, where my grandparents live. My window is wide open and the breeze feels so wonderful on my face.
I snap a lot of pictures from the window
It gets darker and darker and I can’t help but fall asleep.
The next morning I am happily awoken by roosters at my grandmas house (something I used to find incredibly annoying).
I go on my grandparents’ third story roof and snap pictures.
My grandma watering her trees.
I explore Gualan for the next few days. My mother grew up in this village and I have a lot of childhood memories here.
I fall in love with all the color everywhere and feel so incredibly happy here.
I make a lot of new friends.
This girl danced so beautifully and freely as she walked.
My grandpa opening the gate
My uncle cutting some coconuts. I drink lots of coconut water while I’m here Notice the Illinois license plate. More coming in part 2.