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I managed to finagle my way onto the walk up the Volcano de Agua.  We set out at 4:00am to catch the buses from Antigua to the town of Santa Maria  where the hike began – at 5:30 we started the hike up the volcano.

One of the narrower parts of the trail

The altitude, terrain and number of participants made for a hike that was fairly strenuous.  As I was walking I found it interesting and encouraging that the majority of the participants were men since this was an event to bring about awareness to and reduce domestic violence.

Above the clouds

After about 4 hours I made it to the top where people were waiting for the announcement to create the human chain.  There were plenty of reporters and helicopters with film crews to document the event.  Spread out across the crater was a gigantic piece of nylon with a huge heart printed in the middle of it.  Everyone gathered around, picked up the canvas and began to wave it up and down.

Preparations to form the heart in the center of the crater.

At the heart of the crater

Further down the volcano thousands of people lined up to pass a flag up the mountain to the crater.  The trip down with thousands of people trying to negotiate a mostly one lane path, in addition to the dust they created made for a very long and uncomfortable descent.  Once we were back in Santa Maria the number of people that took part in this event overwhelmed the busses that were designated to take them back to Antigua.  I understand that some people waited about 3 hours for a bus.

The dusty trail

The masses waiting for a bus to return to Antigua

On a whole I commend the organizers – while there were many things that could have been done much better, the idea and the amount of work and organization to pull off something like this was still impressive. This event was organized by Ensena Amor: No Violencia (Teaches Love)

6 Responses to “The Heart of Volcano de Agua : A Demonstration to Change VAW in Guatemala”

  1. Nina

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s great that people take action in bringing awareness to issues that are difficult to even talk about.

    Reply
  2. rebeca donoso

    hi just want to congratulate you! amazing job hopefully with it more of the social needs and problems will be noticed by it
    best wishes keep going

    Reply

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