Archive for April, 2008


Samac is a Q’ekchi’ name. Sa’ is like the preposition in or inside. Some say Mac is short for Macodio, some ancient resident of distinction. But the idea that Samac’s name means In (the place of) Macodio strikes me as apocryphal. Mot k’ek means dream. So Sa’ mot k’ek means Inside a dream. This is […]


As soon as I got to site, I changed my name. There are a few reasons. First of all, no one seems able to pronounce “Andrew.” The middle combination of consonants is just too much. It takes me back to my summer delivering Chinese food in Fredericksburg when I came to respond to “Ang Yoo.” […]

samac and sanimtacá

The trip from San Bartolomé lasted from six-thirty in the morning to about four in the afternoon. With a loaded backpack on my back, a loaded backpack on my front, and an overflowing costal with dangling shoes, I took two crammed camionetas to Antigua. Every few steps I could hear the tiny sound of backpack […]

site assignment

I envisioned myself passing two years in the heart of a South American jungle. When I received my invitation to Guatemala in Central America, I started my research. Since Guatemala is mountainous, a third of the country is high elevation. How do I get myself into the hot lowland jungle? There’s a two in three […]