The Quetzal and the Snake

I am pretty much alone today, all the other artists are in communities nearby giving workshops to large groups. Yesterday me and another artist (Cristian, he is a theater buff) attempted a workshop in a community called “Santa Catarina”. It was disastrous. There was nothing organized. Hardly anyone knew we were coming. They locked us out of the school. We had no place to stay or have lunch and had to leave town to find a greasy burger on the side of the road. It wasn’t a total loss though. While we waited for things to settle, a man told us this legend:

Quetzal bird

Quetzal bird

Up in the hills near the coffee fields an old man was going to work in the morning. At harvest time, the rich-green, tall coffee bushes are splattered by little red beans that must be delicately hand-picked. To reach these coffee farms workers had to walk up a narrow path that passes a cave on the mountain side. As usual, and as most men do, the old man carried a machete when he noticed that a snake was crossing his path. The snake was about as thick as his leg, and was moving very slowly. He must have been in a good mood, and decided to spare its life and watch it pass. The snake slithered on and on, and on until finally a little tail marked its length. As he looked up the old man noticed two men walking down the hill. The men asked the old man why he was walking up the hill at this time. He said he was going to work. The men looked confused and asked him what work he would be doing at night. The old man looked up to the skies and realized that it was no longer dawn, but nightfall, and he had stood enchanted by this snake all day.

Later, we bought two greasy burgers that cost $11 Quetzales at a small restaurant down the road . Here is the stunning bird after which the currency in Guatemala is called. Around a $1 USD is $8 Quetzales.


2 responses to “The Quetzal and the Snake

  1. Hi Monica..
    Nice story, sorry about those burgers, you guys were unable to find a typical dish? Remember you can’t come back with more trans-fats that you had when you left..

  2. emmmhhh grease burgers.
    Tell me a story about a man who became transfixed with a burger for an entire day. It will take place in America…starring Kevin Bacon. Now GO!


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