Yesterday morning, the school trip was to Copavic, a glasswork cooperative in Cantel, a town about 30 minutes by bus from the school. We left around 9, got a microbus to ourselves to the factory, which was quite luxurious -- no crowding! -- and got a little introduction from Ronaldo, our guide.
Copavic workers are nearly all from the same town ... the factory used to be owned by a handful of foreigners who treated badly with the workers, and in the late sixties, they refused to work anymore, and founded the cooperative that it is now. This means that they work for themselves, and get reasonable pay, benefits, etc, and extra money goes to community projects like schools and the like. Very cool. AND they use all recycled glass!
So, we went, and we got to spend about 45 minutes in the workroom watching them make glasses, vases, fish, candleholders. I've seen glassblowing before, but usually just one person working on artistic-y type glass to be sold in a shi-shi store or craft fair -- this was really neat because several people would work on any given piece, each person handing it off to the next after doing his part (all of the glassblowers were men).
Then we spent another while in the shop trying to figure out what to buy!
I've always liked glassblowing and thought I'd like to learn it, but seeing their work renewed my interest in it. I'll add it to my list of things to do with all my spare time and money :)
Then, later in the day, I translated my last conference at the school, an interesting one about corruption in the justice system here in Guatemala (it's rampant). It was kinda depressing too, but overall, interesting.
I can't believe today is my last day of classes! Weird weird.
Today is also the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is a very big deal, and there have been bombas going off since about 5AM, and the occassional big burst of firecrackers here and there. All the little kids in the city (practically) are dressed up in traje and there's a big event in the park, and I understand all the churches will be packed at midnight. I will be in bed.