Quite an eventful day today. A 2 hour drive took us deep in the jungle . However that was not deep enough. We trekked for another hour through the lush green forest. It was an amazing experience. Even though we had to juggle ourselves through soil and clay we still considered ourselves lucky since it did not rain the night before otherwise the trek would have taken much longer. Upon arrival we were met by a Kekchi tribe and celebrated mass there. Lunch was offered to us by them…this time it was grilled fish and rice….rather delicious i must say….
Prison day has finally arrived again. Another week has passed since our first attempt so we tried our luck once more. This time …..we made it. As I mentioned before the Puerto Barrios prison is considered to be one of the most dangerous. Presently it houses 915 inmates whereas the actual space is for 250. The only belongings that visitors can carry are the passport and money. We were checked and asked questions however in my opinion drugs can very be easily smuggled in. Marked with 4 different stamps we were finally allowed to enter. I must say that as soon as the gate opened and we crossed the courtyard on our way to the chapel i felt very uneasy. I could feel all eyes were on us . I hardly looked up. From the corner of my eyes i could see the burnt wall were 8 inmates were killed ( beheaded) and burnt this new year’s day after a riot between the inmates. Obviously they were not stopped by security because they are outnumbered. Therefore practically the prison is ruled by the inmates and gangs and not by the security officers. Upon arrival in the chapel we were greeted with a very warm and happy applause from the catholic inmates eagerly waiting for their weekly visit by Fr Anton to celebrate mass. It was a very emotional experience surrounded by these men celebrating mass so profoundly yet knowing that most of them are criminals. In the background one could here a lot of commotion . Once mass finished we were surrounded by these men trying to sell their own products made mostly out of nylon, such as hammocks , bags and purses. By now i was counting the seconds to leave as i was becoming more anxious seeing all those gangs run freely not knowing whats going on in their minds. Despite the uneasiness it was something we ‘re glad we got to experience however i was counting the seconds to be out of that gate again!!
Fresh day … new experience! The wedding of 7 Kekchi couples . Possibly one of the largest kekchi villages we visited so far. It was a very unique experience to witness the traditions of this tribe. Apart from these weddings, in the same celebration 28 teenagers received the first holy communion and 2 of the grooms received the baptism .
In heavy rain a 6am departure took us to Morales stadium. Today we celebrated the feast of Christ the King. About 4000 people were present from all around the diocese. The bishop of Izabal and the apostolic nuncio for Guatemala were present for the activity. A feast that brought together all christians….another truly amazing experience.
Day off….. tourist in TIKAL…..
A 2 am departure and a 6 hour drive took us to the enchanting jungle were we got to explore the enormous and amazing Mayan temples and learn about the mayan civilization. Even though the drive was never ending especially on our return It was surely a very interesting day , one which will remain in our memories for years to come.