At the top of the hill, we stopped at the only restaurant that appeared open, and were met with surprise and admiration. CECAP is Santa Cruz's vocational education center. CECAP is funded by the Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation, which just happens to include The Seattle Foundation. Because Santa Cruz is considered one of the poorest 45 townships in Guatemala, it has come to the attention of do-gooders who invest in it in order to break the cycle of poverty. CECAP focuses on primary and secondary education, culinary skills, some computer skills, sewing, carpentry, welding and foot loom weaving. Ken and I had a beautiful and healthy vegetarian lunch and the kids ate some homemade fruit roll-ups.
We walked around the town and met a few of the locals. Everytime we explore new towns, especially on foot, I can't help but feel giddy. I'm constantly thinking about what an amazing adventure this is and how lucky we are to have broken our mold. Every town is different, yet many aspects are the same -- little tiendas (shops with soda, chips, candy and other foods), a town square and houses.
We walked down the hill enjoying more of the scenery and the pleasant weather. Of course the kids wanted to take a tuk-tuk back, but we were having none of that!
Back at the hostel, we relaxed and waited for the communal dinner. We had to make dinner reservations in advance. We'd be hard-pressed to find another option if we hadn't. In fact, the kids were hungry an hour before dinner and I bought the last piece of watermelon from a nearby tienda. When Ken went back to buy another piece, the senora refused. She preferred to save it for the next day when she was likely to sell several pieces. Therefore, Ken bought the entire watermelon, and we shared it with friends.
I was able to raid La Iguana's book area and found some different books to read to the kids that night. Fresh books are such a treat. Since it was Saturday night, it was "Fancy Dress Night". We had no idea what this meant until the party started! La Iguana has a small room full of women's fancy dress clothes. Most of the 20-somethingish guests borrowed clothes and wore them for the evening. Yes, a nice cross dressing evening and I'm not sure our kids even noticed! BTW, La Iguana infuse their own vodka and the lemon ginger one was fantastic.
The owner of La Iguana and his friends played music, and Tag was part of the band for a couple of songs. It was a great evening and we retired to our room exhausted. Stay tuned for Day 2 in Santa Cruz.