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Waking up in Tuxtla Guiterrez makes me feel like a part of the rest of the world – connected, efficient and hopeful. It hurts me to feel this way because I love my country and the warmth of everyone in Guatemala, but it is simply just not there yet, for whatever history, for whatever reason, for whoever may have the blame for this then and now, Guatemala is definitely one world below Mexico.
As I sit in the restaurant of Hotel María Eugenia’s glass surrounded lobby I watch the new world walk by early on a Monday morning. The two business men in suits one table over sit and read their newspapers, the clean public buses pass by, the women next to us are talking about their new jobs and Brad just went up for the buffet after having three servers quickly bring plates, silverware, and drinks with just one question asked, no follow-up questions, no asking permission, just that, speed and efficiency in a situation that doesn’t require options that slow down the mundane. Work smarter, not harder. There’s also that subtle feeling when you get when you meet people comfortable in their own skin (if ever), people in Tuxta Guiterrez are comfortable in their city and are not ducking between islands of safety for fear of random violence. At night people crowd the civic center and parents sit and watch other people’s children making out by the light of the cathedral.
It’s the small comforts that really give it away that we’re in Mexico. “This is nice,” says Brad as we stop between lights where there’s a sign for a woman’s clinic. We quickly drive out of Tuxtla following all the clear signage to Mexico. “There’s like trashcans and stuff.”
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