Just Say Hello!

A tourist group in Parque Central in Antigua Guatemala (image by photos.rudygiron.com)

Hola! Ciao! Guten Tag! Bonjour! Hello! The universal greeting of meeting another offers a unique and special introduction to Guatemala. La Antigua is such a wondrous and diverse place. You can sit on the square, enjoy an extraordinary cup of coffee and hear languages from around the globe as you enjoy the beauty of the Parque Central and the stunning architecture.

It is a wonderful way to say hello to Guatemala and to yourself. Throughout your journey into the heart of Guatemala you will discover the ease and flow of this simple greeting. Often you will be met with a buen día, buenas tardes or buenas noches, depending on the time of day. This simple custom is a courteous acknowledgement and an invitation to engage and connect on many levels.

While interactions are most likely a quick and friendly exchange, you will discover that there can be an inner opening that comes from the acknowledgement. There are those times when this opening becomes an opportunity to simply get to know someone, to experience their journey and expand your own horizons through the conversation.

Recently, we were visiting a doctor in Guatemala City. While the office was filled to capacity, it was revealing to notice that everyone who entered turned and greeted those waiting with a smile and a buenos días.

We simply observed and noticed the cordiality of this one small simple act. The acknowledgement is a sign of respect.

Much has been written about the power of a smile and the multitude of benefits from human contact. And, within this one simple custom we have discovered a layer of wisdom that is ever present to reveal itself. The gift of remembering that we are human…we are social creatures.

In our fast-paced, techno world, we so often dive deep into our texting devices that we forget the beauty and the depth of sincere conversation. We have acclimated to text messages and short emails as the norm for most.

Allowing ourselves to adopt the attitude of acknowledging each other with “hello” offers the opening to a richer life experience.

Whether you are on vacation or here for an extended period, you may want to consider taking advantage of the diverse life experiences so many have to share. Some of those experiences will surprise you, some will delight you and some may startle you, yet they will all enrich you and forever expand your way of being. Saying “hello” to those we may not yet know helps make the world a more supportive environment for all.

Allowing interaction and touching the humanity of ourselves and our fellow travelers is a rare opportunity. And, regardless of the language you may speak, it all begins with hello!

Sri and Kira have authored several books and are the owners of TOSA La Laguna. Email: office@tosaspa.com www.LakeAtitlanSpa.com

Two Guatemalan Girls in Parque Central in Antigua Guatemala (image by photos.rudygiron.com)

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