Laurie Praskin, Plenty volunteer and soy specialist, Plenty Bulletin Fall 2009
In April there was a special reunion in California of ex-Plenty volunteers and our friends Agustín and Elena Xoquic, Kaqchikel Maya from Guatemala. It had been 30 years since some of us had seen them. It was wonderful to the faces light up as our eyes met once again, and as each new person arrived, the room was energized all over again. We are all older, of course. There were tears and photos to share. We originally met Agustín and Elena while working with Plenty in the highlands of Guatemala after the devastating 1976 earthquake.
At the time, Agustín, the committee leader of the small aldea we were living in, was working hard to bring water to his community. There we were, an odd bunch of longhaired hippies hoping to make a difference, transported to help right in the middle of a land before time. We witnessed what life was truly about in its most basic and purest form; carry water; find wood; make fire; grow food; weave clothing; eat. In the middle of this was the Xoquic family. I have rarely met anyone as gracious and giving. They opened the doors of their home and the hearts of their of their family to any of us who wanted to partake. They freely taught us their ways: language, cooking styles, and weaving. It was as if the cradle of civilization was welcoming us back, and we became life-long family.