We just returned from a 4-day trip to the Quiche department of Guatemala, where we stayed in the village of Chicaman with two current Peace Corps volunteers (one of the other four married couples currently serving in Guatemala). The idea was for us to spend a bit of time getting to know how current volunteers live day to day.
Also, this was our first solo traveling experience without Peace Corps folks guiding us through the bus system. It was a long trip...3 hours to the capital of Quiche in a crowded "chicken bus" with a bus driver that got a huge grin every time he decided to pass another semi-truck around a blind corner and 100 km/hr. (People say these things are safe....) The next leg was supposed to be a 3 hour trip to the pueblo over a mostly rutted, mountainous dirt road; but it actually ended up being 2½ hours of a bus ride, 3½ hours of waiting for construction crews (part of which was their standard 2 hour lunch break), a half hour walk to speed up our passage through another construction zone, and eventually a ride in a vehicle from our new found friends on the other side.
The scenery and the culture were incredible. The pueblo was a Spanish speaking market town with 5 different Mayan Languages spoken in the surrounding "aldeas" (small communities surrounding the market towns.) We visited one of the incredible river valleys as well as the birthplace of Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan-Nobel Peace Prize winner that has made a life out of fighting for the rights of indigenous people around the world.