This past week Lic. Nuria, Ing. Vazquez, and I headed down to San Marcos, about a two hour drive, as there was some issues regarding two neighbors and a trespassing on private property. Turns out one of the neighbors wanted to build a fence around his home and property and in doing so he built a piece of his fence on his neighbors property. That’s where we came in. Ing.
Vazquez had measure the houses and see how the properties were, making sure to see how much of the fence was trespassing onto the private property. He showed me how he used his GPS device that he had that would tell him the satellites that were in space above the property, which he then used to help him find the information he needed.
We spent about an hour or so on the property while we talked to both neighbors, both believed they were in the right which made it difficult for Lic, Nuria. She would have to come back next week to see if she could settle the problem.
Last week was the last time I worked with Ing. Vazquez at his construction site. The site has come a long way in the past week, especially after a lot of rain caused for a setback. The workers are now currently making cement to start building upwards and two tons of sand have been delivered to the site. The house it planned to be done by the end of the summer, but with the way the weather is looking it might take longer
Today I worked with Lic. Jorge again as he was focusing in on the project of bringing a airport to Quetzaltenango. He told me we were going to be meeting with a few other people that were also interested in getting the project started. We all met at a hotel and I watched closely as they talked over the budget and time frame for what could be the second largest airport in Guatemala.
In the total the airport would cost around Q. 14,000,000, which is about two million dollars and the time frame looks to be about a year and a half to get the entire airport finished. It will be able to fly two thousand four hundred kilometers, being able to land in cities like Miami, Guadalajara, Managua, and La Havana. It unfortunately will not be big enough to make direct flights to cities like L.A. but it is still a big step for the city.
What Lic. Jorge and the rest are afraid of is that Pres. Morales not taking the project seriously and just brushing it off much like past presidents have done when asked to make changes for the country. If that does happen, their best hope for the airport would be to have a private inverse fund the project which is pretty unlikely to happen. Lic. Jorge will present the project personally to the President in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully everything goes well.
The past few days I have switched gears from looking at documents and making countless copies to now a more creative field– engineering. For the past week I have been working with an engineer, and shadowing what he has been doing. I thought that I was going to be helping by creating diagrams and such but he had a different idea. He told me that I would also have to help the construction workers out, to build a good relationship with them.
Engineer Vasquez and I have been at the construction site for two straight days, under the burning sun as he helps guides the construction workers– telling them what to do. I have to do little things like hold his diagrams, make sure to recheck some of the calculations that the construction workers make and also go on water runs because were working in very sunny weather. I never actually knew how much work and time was put into making these diagrams, until Eng. Vasquez went through his step by step thought process. I hope to learn more on how he comes up with his many ideas on creating unique homes and maybe even help make one with him.
Yesterday I accompanied Lic. Jorge, as he was going to give a speech in front of some very important people including President Jimmy Morales regarding some of the problems that are present in the second largest city behind the capital (and where most of my family lives) Quetzaltenango. As, said before Quetzaltenango is a very important city because of its rich history therefore making is a huge tourist attraction.
For years the city has asked the for an improvement in their road system and as well as a more modern technological advancement — much like the capital.
Another thing that was also brought up was the notion of creating an airport in Quetzaltenango which would make it easier to travel to other important cities in the country. Guatemala has only one international airport, which is located in the Guatemala City. Although Guatemala City is the capital, it is very isolated and far away from its neighboring cities, which leads to lots of travel and traffic when trying to reach a destination. It alone, took me nearly six hours by car to reach the city of Quetzaltenango without traffic.
President Jimmy Morales listened attentively and promised to address the situation “in the near future”, but as Lic. Jorge said “every president has always said ‘in the near future’ and have never done anything.” Hopefully President Morales takes initiative and comes to realization that not only will modernizing Quetzaltenango not only benefit the city but the country as a whole.
Map of Guatemala (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/central-america/guatemala/map_of_guatemala.jpg)
Terrible road system in Quetzaltenango (http://www.prensalibre.com/jutiapa/Jutiapa-ruta-mal-estado-baches-denuncia-pilotos-vecinos_0_1163883778.html)
Traffic after a flood on the border of Xela (Quetaltenango)
Camara de Commercio de Guatamala (Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala) where the event was held and where President Morales heard Lic. Jorge give his speech.
My first few days in the Guatemala have been great. I am currently interning at a law firm and shadowing lawyer Nuria Valdiviezo and a couple of her co-workers. One of my first assignments was to deliver a couple documents to the mayor of a small city in the more tropical regions of Guatemala. The car ride was nearly three hours, and the drivers here aren’t as friendly or safe as those back in L.A. The mayor was a small, joyful man, who was happy to hear that an “American” like me is coming back to experience Guatemala at first hand.
The next day I was assigned to help a couple citizens renew their DPI (Documento Personal de Identificación) which is the Identification card. I was filling out hours and hours of paperwork for some of the citizens that were illiterate and in the end I had to move it all down to the “RENAP” which is the National Civil Registry in Totonicapan, an older city in the region. While there, Ms. Valdiviezo invited me to a conference where the Mayor of the city I’m living in right, Xela, is going to talk in front of a couple people including the current President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales. The event is being held tomorrow at the Capital and we are currently on our way there. Overall it has been a very exciting first few days and can’t wait what lies ahead.