Guatemala: Some odd cultural differences

I feel like this is an, “You know you’re in a third world country when…” post. Really it’s a bit more of a this is how spoiled and lucky we are in the United States and other countries where your internet connection is solid enough to easily read this. I know some of the people who have read this are not in such fortunate countries, and for you, I say I admire you for living your life so seamlessly in situations many Americans couldn’t even fathom.

So here are some of the fun facts I discovered while living in Guatemala:

Tattoos mean you’re in a gang. We had a heavily tat’d member and the last day the kids found out. They were so awed by it.

Men can’t wear earrings. We never really discovered why not, but were simply told not to.

Everything involving water will involve bottled water. No tap water, no ice, do not take the drinks from the locals. Sure they’re trying to be kind, but what is a harmless drink to them will cause us to be in the bathroom for the next 24 hours enhancing the dehydration of the already hot weather. All fear Montezuma’s Revenge.

A man had a wound on his leg. I can’t remember what happened, but something punctured his skin and cause bleeding. He had gotten an infection. In America he would have had sanitizer, medication, and bandages to keep from even getting the infection. We had a medical person with us and she changed the bandage with something clean and gave some antibiotics.

The cows look awesome. They look like if they wanted to, they could spear you. Because they have horns and their bodies are all sleek and muscular looking. Unlike our lazy, hornless cows.

You can’t flush your toilet paper. The pipes are a standard 4″ for sewage, while in the US we have 10″ and such so it can take toilet paper from numerous sources at once. So you throw your toilet paper out next to the toilet. Out of everything, that was the hardest to get used to.

Driving there are few rules but many suggestions. Aside from the yellow road markers and speed bumps. The yellow road markers are nearly six inch tall humps made of a hard substance. I can’t imagine what would happen to a vehicle that hits it. When you really can’t cross the line, they put those up. The speed bumps are huge. You will slow down. Even if you do slow down, you might bottom out if you’re in a car. Otherwise, make sure to honk a lot to let everyone know where you are and that you say high.

Guards have heavy guns, not just night sticks and pistols. There were steyrs and shot guns. At a gas station an armed guard with a shot gun opened the door for us to go in. A few places had private guard companies. Most places in major cities had barbed or razor wire around the tops. Several had tall walls and steel gates. Bandits would happen in Guatemala City. We didn’t see anything that scary, though.

That’s what I have. It was an amazing trip. Didn’t feel the desire to play video games once. This is progress!

Good night and God bless,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: