|My last day at Lago del Atitlan.
I got up early and crossed the lake in a launch (a boat which is meant to hold 12 but is sometimes crowded with as many as 25 people) to visit Estela, a Guatemalan woman I had met the week before in Antigua.
Estela lives in San Pedro la Laguna with her three little girls. Her nephew was visting when I was there. She teaches Spanish, but is also a specialist in teaching indigenous kids to overcome dyslexia. Dyslexia is apparently a big problem in this population.
Estela's house and yard are lovely, her kids cute as can be. We had a nice visit.
Then, back across the lake to meet Dhatri at an orphanage she'd heard about. It is a large, very nice complex with about 80 kids. We were in the rooms full of babies and toddlers. We were told that most of these kids had already been adopted (all by Americans), but were awaiting bureaucratic approval or DNA testing before they could go to the US. Almost all of these children were abandoned by their mothers. So they may have parents. The adoption agency tracks them down, we were told, even does DNA testing to make sure, and then has the mother (and father if possible) sign off on relinquishing the kids.
I've asked one indigenous Guatemalan friend about this whole thing. She told me she is in favor of such adoptions, because there are so many abandoned children here. Her own father came upon an abandoned baby in the street!