This photo shows Volcano Santa Maria from Quetzaltenango. I think it is quite an interesting photo because it shows the strong US influence in Guatemala. The global brands are there and therefore it looks like an ordinary high street in the United States, if it was not for the volcano.
Unfortunately, I could not show the grand Mormon temple that is located to the right of this street. I did not find a viewpoint that is high enough to align the Volcano Santa Maria and the temple. The Mormons and a lot of other American Baptist churches are very popular among the younger generations in Guatemala. In contrast to the Catholic Church, they offer free English classes, weekend activities and a strong, forced sense of community.
The lady from my host family told me that she has been looking for a church, for her and her daughter, for quite some time. The problem is that she is a single mother without a regular income and therefore most of the churches rejected her. Also her boyfriend is a Mormon, which does not make her search easier.
I found this story very interesting. I never paid much attention to the different churches and I never thought that not being associated with one could make a difference in life. Now I have learned that in emerging countries the affiliation does make a difference and therefore gives the “Padres” real power over their communities.