Yesterday, we traveled across Lake Atitlan to see a mentorship group in action at the Starfish One by One center in Santiago. As an ice breaker, we played the Guatemalan version of hot potato; instead of a potato, they call it a bomb (“una bomba”). Whoever ended up with la bomba at the end of the song had to introduce him- or herself, which was easier said than done for those of us with a tendency to massacre Spanish grammar (me). As part of the introduction, the girls shared what they wanted to become: There were four aspiring doctors, a few nurses, an English teacher, and even a forensic scientist. Ted, one of the founders of Starfish, told us that when the program first started, the girls had answered much differently; they didn’t realize that becoming doctors, nurses, and scientists would ever be within their reach.
Check out photos of the girls, who christened themselves “Las Estrellas Marinas,” creating a collage of their goals, showing us a traditional Mayan dance, wrapping Kate’s hair in a traditional headpiece, and demonstrating how they create the intricate beadwork and embroidery sold in the marketplace.