I live in a small, commercial village about 60 km from Coban, the nearest city in Alta Verapaz. The village's name--Q'anpur--means Yellow Snail in the Mayan language Q'eqchi'. The village has a population of approximately 3,000-5,000 people, with 38,000 total living in all of the surrounding villages combined. The village is located at an altitude of 867 meters (2,844 feet) above sea level. The weather ranges from mild to (very very) hot, the coolest months being during the rainy season, late October through January.
View from the Tzibal cemetary
The population of the village is entirely indigenous, and most speak Q'eqchi' as their first (or only) language, Spanish as their second. The great majority of the population make their living as farmers, growing two principle crops: cardamom and coffee, both of which are exported to the U.S. Being the largest village of the municipality, my village has a fully operating heath center, market days on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and several small stores, eateries and businesses.
Thanks to a Tigo tower built right in the middle of the village, there is Tigo cell phone service and Tigo modem-access Internet, for which I pay Q145 (about $18) per month (thus this blog). Most homes in the village proper have electricity, a few have running water. However few if any of the surrounding villages (some as close as 10 minutes walking distance) have power, water, or cell phone service.
The market-center of the village
There are no police in the village (they were driven out by the villagers a few years back), however the area is very tranquil and any major crime is dealt with by the locals.
Everybody around knows who I am and where I live. They keep tabs on me and my well-being. I like my little village and have everything I need and more.
For better or for worse, this is my home for two years.