|Trase Christian, Walker Clark, Nicholas Salzman and Elvis Tsang|
Nitke Choy, Alba Cristal de Cholac, Dorcas Cristal Clark, irma Cristal, Maya Cristal
Efrain Cristal, Clark Pogemiller, Ana Lucia Cholac and josue Cholac
Our son was to marry in Guatemala at a beautiful hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Friends thought it a destination wedding but it wasn’t. Such events imply ceremonies on the beach at sunset with no connection to the locale. For ours, the bride’s roots in Guatemala ran deep and the wedding was an impressive combination of cultures.
|Dorcas and her parents|
They had five children - four girls and a boy. Tragically, their son, Avilio, died at age 16 from leukemia, an event that most affected Efrain, softening his traditional strict nature.
Their daughters’ careers directly reflect the changing times in Guatemala. Irma didn’t want her daughters to suffer at the hands of macho men and she taught them to be independent. She was the first woman in their village to drive a car and she made sure her girls could, too.
As the oldest, Irmita was a talented singer and musician and typical focused firstborn. She moved to Guatemala City to learn English and to get a masters degree in psychology. She now works for Tierra Nueva, an NGO that helps abused women.
Alba was strong, the tomboy of the family, and even knew how to work on cars. Men didn’t know what to think of her. With her family’s help, she started an egg business and later married Raul who had a poultry business - a nice combination that has allowed the family to prosper.
|The four sisters at Diana's graduation|
Dorcas was the youngest and educated more by her mother and sisters than in school. They made sure she read early and encouraged her to get a college degree. But Guatemala’s universities require students to begin anew if they change majors and Dorcas wasn’t sure of a career path. So, she became the first of the family to live abroad when she moved to Long Island, New York to be an au pair for a family with three boys. Her arrival in the United States gave our son an opportunity to pursue her which he did.
In the wedding party, Dorcas’ attendants wore the traditional dress as did her mother but Dorcas had chosen a simple white gown from David’s Bridal in the States. Groomsmen brought tuxedos with them.
Although the service was primarily in Spanish, guests were greeted in Spanish and English, readings were in both languages and my husband and I gave a bilingual despedirse or good by at the end. The mingling of cultures was so interesting, many guests at the hotel watched the ceremony from above.
At the reception, tables were divided naturally by culture and language but on the dance floor.. .... music united. Sixties hits kicked off the dancing but soon a Latin beat entered followed by more current songs. The floor never emptied and all ages and dress styles mingled and moved to the beat. Even behind the buffet line, the staff could be seen tapping their feet. What a night.
|Alba Cristal de Cholac, Dorcas Cristal Clark, Irmita Cristal|
Efrain and Irma Cristal