One thing I learned by living and working in a distinct culture is that culture is much more than the obvious external differences like food or clothing or language. A lot of culture is hidden inside our heads, visible only indirectly in what we say, what we think, and what we do. Like us, culture is complex and always changing.
Culture is a very social thing. Do we have a culture if there's no one else around? I would almost argue we don't. At its heart, culture is the composite of millions of thoughts and actions interacting with millions of other thoughts and actions.
In that vein, I think stories may best illustrate the culture of the community where I lived better than any summary... though I am also sure these stories reflect even more about my own culture. Enjoy!
US Immigration: Money, Borders, and Tuna Fish Sandwiches
Values: Work is Sacred
Language and Customs:
Learning a Mayan Language
Taking a Mayan Sweat Bath
Found in Translation - An example of the differences between formal English and formal Guatemalan Spanish
What's the Food Like There?
The Joys of Market Day
Typical Food: Guatemalan Paches
Rabbits - That time I was thinking about getting a pet rabbit...
The Guatemalan Feria - Yearly community celebrations for patron saints
Christmas in Guatemala
Dia de los Santos - November 1, All Saint's Day
On being an outsider:
Things I Do That Make Me Strange
Techniques for Navigating a New Cultural Landscape
Intercultural Communication 101 - An irreverant look at the frustrations of being a direct communicator in an indirect world
Man of Faith, Man of Reason - After the intense helplessness I felt when my cat was sick and it seemed no one cared, I was overwhelmed by my host family's sympathy...
Gender and Identity in Highlands Guatemala