25 Jul Sunrise on Santa Maria
Posted at 11:09h in Central AmericaOperation Groundswell Guatemala (OGG) Extreme stayed true to the name as we hit the ground running. Wasting no time at all, we welcomed 12 eager adventurers with open arms at the airport, shipped them on a whirlwind tour of the capital city, and carted them around Antigua for a bit before finally settling into our own little apartment in the highlands of Xela for a full week. Our time in Xela was divvied up between Spanish lessons, co-op visits, fair trade discussions, a scavenger hunt, and some good ol’ R&R in a natural hot springs (tough life, we know). Amidst the jam-packed schedule of awesomeness, just about everyone would agree that the highlight of Xela was our midnight trek up Volcano Santa Maria. The trek was arranged for Sunday night. We planned a late lunch, a nighttime nap, and dinner around 10:30pm to load up on energy for the grueling trek up. Lunch happened, nap happened, trek… should have happened, except plans in Guatemala during rainy season are as reliable as the chicken bus schedule, and anyone who has visited Guatemala knows that the “schedule” is more of a suggestion than a rule. Since the trek would be more of a swim than a hike, we were forced to call it off in hopes of better weather the following night. Monday came: same routine. Late lunch, late nap, late dinner. The alarm sounded at 10pm. Everyone jumped out of their sleeping bags and ran to the windows to check for rain. This time around… success! Not a cloud in the night sky. Filled with adrenaline for the hike to come, OGG scarfed down a delicious pasta primavera dinner, laced up their boots, and turned on their headlamps in preparation for the ascent. We were out the door with no time to spare, ready to conquer Mrs. Maria.
OG Guatemala Extreme