This is probably one of my favorite topics. Indigenous Guatemalan women are like super heroes, they take care of the household, about six children, cleaning, cooking, helping their husband out, and all while carrying a baby on their back, in a skirt, and looking absolutely beautiful. The indigenous women here still were their typical outfits, a long colorful skirt, an embroided bright colored blouse and sandals. They are usually seen walking carrying some sort of huge jug of water, sack of something, or something on their heads (usually rather heavy, I tried carrying something a woman had on her head, and all I got was a migrane), and they’ll usually have a baby wrapped on their backs. And let me say one thing about Guatemalan babies, they’re perfect. They usually spend all day on their mother’s back being with them no matter what they’re doing, and they NEVER cry, and they’re usually happy and smiling and laughing! Anyway, back to the women. Usually the girls get married at around 16, 17, 18 years of age (apparently I am already too old to be single). After getting married the girl usually has to stay with her husbands family for about a year, serving them, and helping out in the house, until her and her husband can leave and have their own home with their own land. To me this is shocking, but to them it is absolutely normal. But this doesn’t stop this women from being awesome. We have met many of the women that are involved in the work of FUNCEDESCRI, Dona Lucia (Don Francisco’s wife), and Dona Maria (Don Virjilio’s wife) are the ones we have become closest to. They are health promotors for FUNCEDESCRI, their work is to get trained and capacitated by FUNCEDESCRI on their crops and how to take advantage of them and to reach out to other women that live near their communities so that their work keeps growing. They are also midwifes and assist in all the births of their communities, and doctors, since they know every medicinal function of every plant found in their areas. Dona Lucia was the first one we met, and the first family we worked with. She recieved us in her household with open arms and her lovely smile. We were working with her husband on the field, helping him build a sheep house. When she came out and surprised us with tea and cookies. We all sat down drinking the tea and the cookies with her as she tried to teach us some Quiche, and tried to convince Caro to stay as her daughter in law (very funny moment for us, not so funny for Caro). Dona Maria we met about two weeks later. She is a very old lady with the cutest softest voice I’ve ever heard. It is almost hard to listen to what she says. We were all working out in the crop field with Don Virjilio helping him fertilize the soil and prepare it to plant more crops. Dona Maria came out in her lovely colorful outfit and told me to help her out planting seeds, I must say that one of the most wonderful and unique moments I’ve had in Guatemala was sharing that time with Dona Maria talking to her, and sharing cultures while planting seeds. Later that day Don Virjilio asked Dona Maria to tell us how she got involved in FUNCEDESCRI, this story is very important to Don Virjilio because he admires his wife so much, that her work is what got him involved with FUNCEDESCRI and gave him the strength to better their lives. 20 years ago Dona Maria was invited by a neighbor of hers to a capacitation on medicinal plants, at first she was very nervous to attend because she didn’t know how to read or write, and she didn’t think that it would do anything for her. Everything that she learned about medicinal plants she learned by memory, no reading books, no taking notes, no writting down the name of the plant with the disease it cures, she simply knows every plant and every disease. She also learned how to diagnose people on what they have and how to cure them. She told us at first it was very hard because she wasn’t convinced she could do anything and it terrified her to have to lives of people in her hands, but with time and experience she grew to love the feeling of curing people and making them better. Dona Maria and Dona Lucia are only two examples of the hardworking women that live in Guatemala, and that are to be admired for their courage and strength.