The Change in Guatemala 2019

Photo by Mel Elías

( I, SHIRLEE, share my experiences and emotions from my recent trip to Guatemala. This is how I found the country and people I saw around me. This is NOT a reflection of how I found my friends in Guatemala and This is NOT a message from my spiritual guide, KARL.)

The country of Guatemala has always been a spiritual place for me. I started coming here in the 1970’s, and it is here where I learned to meditate and to find a close connection to my spiritual side. But this visit, in 2019, has felt different and finally today, with the help of a good friend, I believe I understand why.

By choice, due to physical issues with walking, I chose not to travel outside of the capital city on this visit. Always before my visits have included going outside of the capital, mingling among the native Mayan people and walking the land of past generations. Before no matter where I would go, I ALWAYS felt a strong positive loving energy permeating from the land and the people. Today, I find Guatemala different in several ways.

Guatemala City is as busy as I have ever seen it. It has become overpopulated, dangerous and totally disorganized in its movement of traffic. An eight mile trip entails leaving at least one hour in advance.The demand for parking the thousands of cars, is at an all time high and the space to park the car is so small passengers have to exit before the car is pulled into the space. All the parking spaces costs a substantial fee,I saw no free parking.

Everything above ground that is visible to the human eye is either concrete, glass, stone, asphalt or dirt . It is only when I walk behind the concrete walls, can i find green grass and blooming flowers, otherwise there is barely any grass. Most of the trees that grow in the city are unhealthy and are dirty and polluted from all the traffic. The people in the city streets are walking around in a hurried daze or running in between cars to cross congested streets. Everybody is in a rush mode to and from; drivers are honking car horns and trying to maneuver their cars in and out of any small opening they can find. As I walk around I smile at the people but I see only a few smiles in return. Children look at me with their eyes widening, as if they have little understanding of a smiling face or maybe the understanding of a head full of pure white hair. I do see less children begging in the streets than from years past, but there are many more elderly and disabled begging and sitting on the sidewalks.

Before, in the charming neighborhood of Vista Hermosa, there were many beautiful homes, yards and flowers. Now, these homes are gone and in their place are TALL modern buildings made from concrete and glass. These buildings take up a huge amount of space and have taken away the beautiful view of the mountains.

Guatemala has always been my place to reconnect and appreciate the simple things in life . It is where I always have come to rejuvenate and find inner peace and to feel an intense connection between me and God. But now I feel something has changed……. it is as if something isn’t right. The energy is off and it feels like a dark cloud is hanging above the city and the people. I see people moving but it is as if they are robots on duty; moving their body but without emotion and expression. Some have faces of illness, worry, sadness and emptiness. I never remember seeing such semblance of hollowness and exhaustion as I see now.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Earth Angel I met outside an elevator in a mall. This man had a smile on his face from the moment my friend and I encountered him to the moment we parted. Such a kind, jolly and sweet soul; he even mentioned the hustle of human life and the need for calmness and tranquility. His composure and gentleness was genuine and it gave me a moment of relief and comfort. I thought, “How is it, he understands the challenges of living today in Guatemala? …. he seems happy. “ This man had a special aura around him and his positive vibes, beautiful smile and kind heart brought such joy to my soul. For just a moment or two, he reminded me of the Guatemala from before, the Guatemala I always loved and was connected to spiritually.

As I prepare to leave “ The Land of Eternal Spring” I know this trip has not been in vain. I have so enjoyed being with my close friends and meeting new people. I bonded with an older dog (Potter) that needed me as much as I needed him and together we found companionship. I was able to share my personal story with cancer victims and explain my dedication and belief in herbal meds, especially in Ashwaghanda. I was with people that I love and that love me.

Yes, God wanted me to understand that even in one of the most beautiful and spiritual countries in the world , people can lose touch with their divine being. HE wanted me to feel the deficiency of spiritualism so that I could better understand the feeling of loss, balance , and harmony . I now have a greater appreciation for what I have gained through meditation. I know that Guatemala continues to be the same spiritual land as before but the people are in transition. I implore them to slow down and recognize that material belongings do not bring harmony and balance in life. Perhaps in time, more will find the tranquility and love they seek in their land and their inner Being rather than in the modern Guatemala of 2019. ♥️

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