Here and most often in the pueblos outside of the city, work is work. There isn’t much “modern day” convenience of machinery or gadgets that “help” the users do what they need to do. Work is hard and honest. Trees and crops are cut with machetes, handcarts are often used to haul things from place to place and people work HARD. Many houses and apartments, even in the city, don’t have microwaves, washing machines/dryers and sometimes don’t even have refrigerators. Yes, sometimes it is a matter of economy. These things are expensive and there just might not be enough money to go around.
But the flip side to this in my opinion, is that life is much more simple, honest and real. I have spent every week I have lived here (approximately 182 weeks by my count), washing my clothing by hand in the pilla. Of course there have been times I have taken some things to the laundromat, but for me, these situations are more like “emergencies”, if I am ill or something. I LIKE washing my clothes by hand; gives me time to think. I know people that wouldn’t be into that. But one of the reasons I chose to be here in Guatemala, is to have a simpler life. To have a clarity and quality of life.
That doesn’t mean that “modern day conveniences” like washing machines are bad. But in a day and age when in many countries, there are SO many “conveniences”, from machinery to computers to fast food AND people still feel like they have NO time to be with their loved ones and mountains of stress, WHAT is to be gained by all the “convenience”??
While you’re pondering that, I’ll be at the pilla, pondering life and being grateful 😉
***Photo by reader Eddy Elias; text by Luna McCarthy.