The Colors of Survival (Drive Day 50 minus 14 years)

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0823bgt orchid pink
Panajachel, Guatemala: photo by Gary Geboy

Suzie is spending a year working for the American who owns the casita and started a weaving co-op for widows of the Guatemalan Civil War. She says the hardest thing about finding a North American market for the brilliant craftsmanship here is its very brilliance. As in color palette. Up north people don’t wear textiles. We “use” them as accent pieces, covers for throw pillows etc. So only muted, neutral earth tones that “go with” the average living room actually sell.

In Guatemala, after decades of destruction and death, the widows treasure the opposite end of the color spectrum. The brighter the better: nothing says, “I’m still here” better than fuchsia. Earth tones? They belong in the garden. Which is where Shawn works – learning the plants used by natives for medicine and healing. If only he could grow something to cure Wipeout.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.

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