February 2008 Issue: Will You Be My Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day, Guatemala. It’s been nine months and we’re still going feb08strong. I know we’ve had our bumps along the way, like that night I cursed your police for robbing me or that time I almost left you after I got electrocuted for the umpteenth time in the shower. From the highest highs to the lowest lows, we’ve shared them together. That’s why this Valentine’s Day I wanted to take the time to tell you just how much I care.

How do I love thee Guatemala, let me count the ways:

You’re beautiful. From your lush jungle to your majestic mountaintops to your tranquil beaches, you have everything a guy could ever want. Your stunning volcanoes and magnificent lakes never cease to take my breath away.

You’re cultured. Thousands of years since the dawn of Mayan civilization, indigenous people continue to constitute a majority of your population while maintaining their unique languages, religion and cultures.

You’re kind. Always quick to give a salutation or lend a helping hand to a wayward tourist, you really know how to make strangers feel at ease. What’s more, your amiability is sincere and you ask for nothing but the same in return.

You’re delicious. Not widely known for your cooking, you nevertheless never seem to disappoint me in the kitchen. From your chiles rellenos to your paches to your churrascos, I can never seem to get enough. And heaven knows the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

You’re strong. Your physical strength is certainly impressive, but it’s your mental toughness that gets me. When bad times befall you, as they always seem to, your resilience allows you to persevere and look forward, even if it’s only to your next day’s work.

I love you Guatemala. No matter what happens with us, I’ll keep a little piece of you in my heart forever.

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