Archive - June 6, 2010

The Rainy Season in Guatemala

The Rainy Season in Guatemala

by Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000–02) This essay was first published on in the May 2005 issue, and received the Peace Corps Writers 2006 Moritz Thompsen Experience Award. • How to Make Recycled Paper I shredded paper snowflakes into a bucket of water: Guatemalan newspapers, Peace Corps newsletters, embassy safety bulletins and the Catholic magazines that my mother mailed me each month in care packages. Then I stuck a bean grinder into the word-soup, twisting the plastic knob until the bucket filled up with purplish pulp. I was all alone outside a church in Guatemala. It was May 2001, midway through my first year in Peace Corps. I had walked two hours to get to a wood-shack village called Buena Vista, planning to teach a youth group how to make recycled paper. The project looked so sensible in the “Youth Training Manual” they gave me, just memorize the script in . . .

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