I have met so many Guatemalans that are completely in love with their country. Yes, they acknowledge there are things wrong, dysfunctional things…as there are in all countries. But what immediately stands out is the love, affection and patriotism that people here have for their home. I am proud to be part of this and even though Guatemala is my adopted home, I feel that in all the places in the world, this is the place for me. When travelers ask me how I came to be in Guatemala, I tell them the story of how I chose my new home, through hours of research and decision making. But my favorite part of the story is recalling how I fell in love with this city, with the volcanoes, the people and the culture. For me it is like recalling the moment when you realize that you have fallen in love with the love of your life. I once had a Mayan woman read my Nahual and she asked me if I had Guatemalan heritage. To my knowledge, I do not and I told her so. When I asked her why, she replied, “I haven’t seen anything like this before, but you are tied to this land…”
Now whether or not this was true, it made absolute sense to me. There isn’t anywhere else in the world I would rather be than Xela.