Going on an adventure walk in Guatemala to the nearby village of, “Llano Verde” screams family time. We have made this walk to Llano Verde on Sunday a family tradition. Each walk is quality time spent with our kids together as a family. We never know what friendly face our family might run into or how many animals, insects or species of plant we may encounter. Every person we meet is an opportunity to get to know our local Guatemalan neighbors.
The moment we step outside our door and make our way down “The Path of Tranquility,” our family adventure begins. This path reminds me of the yellow brick road from the movie, “Wizard of Oz.” It is a sense of peace and tranquility as we find ourselves surrounded by an arch of tall green leafy trees on both sides of the path. The way the mountains are positioned allow us to feel a pocket of miraculous breeze. The breeze kicks in spontaneously blowing our hair back swiftly in the wind. It quickly cools our bodies making the walk worth while, even on a hot humid day. Truly it is breathtaking to see and experience as we begin our family journey to the village.
First stop, a local shop called a “tienda.” These shops sell chips and soda known as, ricitos y refrescos, in Guatemala. Our family looks forward to savoring these salty chips and drinking the cold, refreshing soda. It satisfies all the salty cravings from the hot and dry weather here in Guatemala. In Rio Hondo, Guatemala we don’t have any fast food restaurants around the corner. Imagine going months without a large order of Chik Fila or McDonald’s french fries! The trip to the tienda is equal to a trip to 7-11 in the US. Except, the shops are much smaller, have a tin roof, no AC, and their foundations are barely holding up. You are certain to find one of these little tiendas on every corner in Guatemala.
Experiencing the simplicity of it all allows you to realize you are in the middle of nowhere in a beautiful but foreign country.
Next stop is the Cucos Shop. Cucos are the Guatemalan version of a fruit sorbet or it can be milk based like soft ice cream. They are served in a small plastic bag. The best way to eat this cold refreshing treats, is to bite off the tip of the plastic bag and suck on the open end. Today the kids chose Coca Cola, lime, and coffee for their flavors. These Cucos are extremely cold and deliciously sweet. A perfect way to start the journey back home.
During our walk back home we found a small pepper plant growing in the middle of nowhere. This plant was in desperate need of water. Marcos decided to gently pull it from its roots and replant it near our home. He would like to think he rescued the plant. He expressed his desire to care for it and promised he would remember to water it daily. The plant was dry, parched and perhaps lonely on the verge of dying.
I’m reminded when we first met our children, we found them in a similar condition. Our children were in desperate need of a little love, affection and nurturing. Now they get to grow and thrive under the loving care of a family. Most importantly forever under the watchful eyes of their Heavenly Father that will never leave or forsake them.
While walking home we give glory to God all the way back to our Safe Haven.