Erin Cole

I am the director of Education at the House of Hope Orphanage in Zacapa, Guatemala. I am a teacher from St.Paul, Minnesota.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Law enforcement in Guatemala

Laws in Guatemala are randomly enforced. Most laws are not ever enforced, like traffic laws, where you throw your garbage, where you can keep your pile of sand and rocks, where you can build a new wall, etc.
My friend ReneƩ went to Chiquimula one day to go to the grocery store. She parked her mini van slightly over a very lightly painted red line and the police put a "boot" on her wheel. She had to pay a fine at city hall to get it taken off. Last night, I went to an event in the open air theater. I parallel parked my car reasonably along the street. When I wanted to leave, I was parked in by 4 cars and a motorcycle, all at different angles. No boots in sight.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Some interesting things about living in Guatemala (an ongoing list):

  • The customer is never right. Example: On the menu at a restaurant, the coffee is listed as Q5.50. When I get the bill, I am charged Q10. Reason? The menu is wrong, the computer is right, AND we have this special mix now that is more expensive. Really?
  • Pedestrians never have the right of way. Watch out.
  • A motorcycle is a perfect vehicle for a family of 5. Or a guy and his 2 buddies.
  • The term "Right now" can mean any time this year.

Monday, March 12, 2007

On Saturday I had the pleasure of going to a concert with many of the teachers with Oasis. We had an awesome time listening to the music of Alex Campos, a Christian artist all the way from Colombia here in Chiquimula, Guatemala.