A Travellerspoint blog

Fat Camp


We have spent the last two weeks on the set, filming the Guatemalan spinoff of the Disney movie (and Louis Sachar novel) Holes. This interpretation has just as much imprisonment, suffering, and unfair treatment as the original. The work too, was the same: days spent under the hot sun digging a hole for suspect reasons. The old cast of juvenile delinquents was subbed out for a saintly young couple from Belgium, a French pastry chef, a South African doctor, a 16 year old Guatemalan work-horse and a real horse named Choo-Choo, not to mention the two of us. After filming, we would head back to the detention center and were treated to a few grams of beans and corn tortillas, a bathroom with a sheet for a door (its windy here), and the dirty dishes from the family we stayed with. Please don't donate time or money to Buenas Cosas, the "not for profit" fat camp that misrepresents themselves in order to directly benefit from the hard work and hard earned money of well meaning volunteers.

Criticisms aside, we actually enjoyed our time out in the dusty Barrio of Bellos Horizontes. We became very close with the other volunteers and spent our time off heading out to a rope swing on the lake, hunting for lost goats, catching lizards, learning new drinking games, breaking up rooster vs. turkey fights and makin it rain on the local 4th grade population during our street soccer tournaments.


In the weeks leading up to our volunteer project, we were taking it slow in the jungles of a huge water system called the RIo Dulce, which links Guatemala's largest body of water to the Caribbean Sea. Touring waterfalls, floating in kayaks, drinking at hot springs and getting lost on a lake in a fierce rainstorm were our activities of choice. Heading north for our volunteer project, our post "lost boat adventure" quality of transportation followed a similar pattern... a slow, hot, cramped bus broke down and we spent a few hours on the side of the road drinking rum with a friendly Honduran man who was planning on entering the U.S. illegally for the 3rd time, and our next pressure-cooker bus was rolling down the highway with a small village of 97 people on board.


We are now en route to southern Belize to meet up with Molly and Kevin and experience their gracious offerings of pickles and Thin Mints.

Posted by paigejohn 08:28 Archived in Guatemala

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