Santiaguito is an active volcano and the eruption was clearly visible in the clear morning sky. Our taxi driver, Jaime, has driven people to see the nighttime eruptions and lava flow, but they view it from the safety of Santa Maria. I was curious to see what it would look like from an explorer's view and found this blog video of adventurers backpacking up the volcano and spending the night on Santiaguito herself. This is an amazing video. Photos on top-video at the bottom of the page:
All the while this beautiful eruption is taking place, below us at the Max store (Guatemala's Best Buy) this local woman is sorting through the trash container for cardboard and wood, which she deftly loads onto her head and then walks away casually with her strange cargo. The guys in the Max parking lot wait in this spot every morning for the not-very-punctual manager to open the store. They hardly notice the woman's efforts to survive by dumpster diving. Not sure if she uses the cardboard for fuel for her cooking, or if she sells it somehow.