The Odyssey
**
**
**
**
**
**
**
**
**
**
**
**
**



Basecamp
Making a
Difference
Guidebook
Trek Connect
Time
Machine



Home
Search
Teacher Zone
Latin America Jamila Dispatch

Making Marimbas with Modern Maya

Student with a
soon-to-be 
"marimba"
Caption
Curly hair and braces (i.e. me)—this is not your everyday sight for the children of San Antonio. The small village of San Antonio is home to the Mopan Maya, who still adhere to many of their age-old traditions. Originally, the ancestors of the inhabitants of San Antonio lived in the village of San Luis Peten, which is located just across the border with Guatemala. The villagers fled to Belize to seek refuge from the oppression they faced in Guatemala. They then named their new home San Antonio, after Saint Anthony, who was the Catholic saint they chose to bring with them when they left their old life behind.

I walked around the school to meet some of the students and found some shocking stuff going on. For example, I walked into one class and was startled to see the teacher wielding a long, sharp machete. Imagine walking into your classroom and seeing your teacher with a machete in her hand. Now remember all the times you made your teacher mad by being noisy or misbehaving. Are you regretting it now? In his other hand, the teacher was holding a long piece of bamboo. Phew. He meant no harm. He was simply giving his students a lesson on how to make a "marimba," a traditional instrument that looks similar to a xylophone. It was exciting to see the students chopping away with the machete. I wanted to try it myself but, since I didn't have much experience with large, sharp objects, I held back. I didn't mind missing out on the experience because I did not want to end up with a hand missing instead!

Can you say, "Buenos días, Maestra!"?
Caption

I noticed that many of the students were not wearing shoes. The school requires its students to wear uniforms; however, exceptions are made for those who cannot afford to buy the uniforms or shoes. What matters most is that they attend school at all since not everyone can. The cost to register to go to school is $3.00 Belize ($1.50 US). Even though this may seem very inexpensive to you, there are a number of families here who cannot afford to send their children to school.

How can you help? If you have any books that you would like to send to the school, feel free to contact me for the address. I'm sure they would love a helping hand!

Jamila


Jamila - Solo and Sore in Central America!
Jamila - The African Legacy in Guatemala: Black Guatemalans?
Team - Blood Flows in the Americas, Africa Feels the Pain
Jamila - Jamila Goes Back to High School
Monica - Justice, Truth and Life: Women with a Mission

Meet Jamila | Jamila's Archive

Meet Jamila
Basecamp | Making a Difference | Guidebook | Trek Connect | Time Machine
Home | Search | Teacher Zone