What is a Suicide Shower?
So I was in the mountains near Momstenango, Guatemala, talking with Adolfo Torres (a local Mayan leader and future FTF Impresario). We (really just him) were installing a suicide shower. I asked how the community meeting went that day. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: So, are the meetings required? Who goes?
Adolfo: No, it’s totally a voluntary choice, but almost everyone goes because we make important decisions about our community.
Me: Wow, that's a lot of people who are invested in the community. Are people elected as mayor, etc?
Adolfo: No, everything is volunteer. Because we aren't a city, this is all volunteer. So every year we have a list of people that we think could fill the roles of President, Secretary, etc, and we ask them if they could fill the position for a year.
At this point a couple of thoughts went through my head:
-Wow these people are organized!
-Why did I think that they weren't?!
-What the hell am I even doing here – they already have everything in hand!
Did I mention that none of these volunteers gets paid?
So I freaked a little. I was humbled. I was blown away. I was ashamed. But in the end I realized I could do good work here. Why? I realized these are the exact people we want to work with: Humble people invested in their community who want to make good things happen, and who are already sacrificing, but just need a dedicated collaborator to encourage their great ideas. A sherpa, if you will. But I wasn’t finished thinking about this conversation. In my next blog, I’ll tell you what happened next, and I'll tell you what a suicide shower is.