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Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala, Central America.




PHOTOS — Village of El Trapichito
Village of El Trapichito

Within the demographic and territorial development of the municipality of Sanarate in Guatemala, a phenomenon has taken place whereby some villages which had previously been quite removed from urban areas, are being absorbed little by little until becoming an integral part of the city. For example, the village “El Conacastón”, is now part of Zones 5 and 6 of Sanarate. Similarly, the village “El Monte Grande” has already largely been absorbed by Zone 2.

This has also been the case with the village “El Trapichito”, which will inexorably become part of Zone 4 of Sanarate. This village, which is located in a small, very fertile valley, is inhabited by hard-working people dedicated, almost entirely, to fairly technical agriculture. They use the drop method of watering (trickle irrigation), and grow a wide range of products, including tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, okra and, in particular, cilantro (coriander), which almost supplies the entire demand of the local market.

However, the leading product is noni (Great Morinda or Morinda citrifolia), grown in the foothills that surround the village. Through a modern industrial process, “noni juice” is produced, which is distributed throughout the whole area of El Progreso in Guatemala at a very good price. The demand for this product is such that it generally exceeds the supply. The juice is in very high demand because of its medicinal properties.

As a curious fact, “El Trapichito” is the only village in the municipality of Sanarate which does not have a school, church, health clinic or community hall. The explanation for this apparent lack of basic services is that, because of its proximity to the city, all of these services are accessible in a matter of minutes. For example, the school-aged children attend classes in School Number 2, located in Zone 4 of Sanarate, which is only a 5 minute walk from the village.

“El Trapichito” has an excellent drinking water supply. To practice sports, the facilities of the “Athletic Complex” (Polideportivo) and the soccer field of the “General Department of Highways" (Dirección General de Caminos) are less than a 5 minute walk away. Therefore, the residents of “El Trapichito” enjoy all of the privileges of those who live in the city. However, the process is underway to create a COCODE (Committee for Community Development) to request the paving (with cobblestones) of the main streets and to implement home improvement programs and academic scholarships for the students of the village.

Despite its proximity to the modern life of the city of Sanarate, ancient customs are still observed, such as transporting their products by mule and using firewood to cook their food. At the edge of the village runs the excellent highway to the region of Jalapa, which runs by the cemetery of Sanarate, located beside the development complex of “Las Viñas”. This route was recently paved and is used by a great number of vehicles of all types.

The village of “El Trapichito” is an oasis of peace and a place of contact with nature within the suburbs of the city of Sanarate. In the tree branches one can hear the song and see the flutter of the region’s endemic birds, such as doves, crests, zanates (Guatemalan grackles), pijuyes (groove-billed ani), thrushes and quail. The song of these birds is an invitation to enjoy this gift from Nature, this fertile piece of Sanarate in Guatemala.

Note No. 1
The name "El Trapichito", which this village was baptized, originated more than a century ago in the municipality of Sanarate. The place is located in a very fertile little valley, and Rio Las Anonas runs through the middle of the valley. This geographical location is very favorable for agriculture, and was used to plant sugar cane. In order to process the abundant harvest of sugar cane, a small mill was constructed, which was very modest and thus resulted in the place being named “El Trapichito” (Trapiche = mill to extract or squeeze juices).
                (Version provided by a local resident).

Note No. 2
a) To devise, look for ways, not always lawful, to achieve a particular goal.
b) To sell in small quantities, especially if it’s done illegally.
                (Spanish language dictionary Espasa-Calpe).

tono herrera gudiel

Reportaje y Fotos:
Jorge H. Herrera

Translation to Ukrainian and Russian:
Світлана Шинкарук

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