The first day went well. We interviewed two men, both of whom spent their lives as jornaleros, or laborers in the fields around San Pedro. Both were also principales in the local Catholic Church. I don’t understand Tzutujil, but a few words were similar enough to Spanish that they stood out for me. Today I also learned to greet, thank, and say goodbye respectfully to an elder in Tzutujil.
Pedro Chipir Quiacain, who you see here as we were waiting for the corn grinding machine to stop running next door, used the word “respeto,” or “respect,” a lot. It was very important to him. I will know more when I can read his statement in Spanish tomorrow, but I’m glad I learned to be respectful!
After the interview, Juan and I were brought cans of Coca Cola as gifts of appreciation. Neither of us normally drinks the stuff, but today we did. Out of respect.