Holy Hypoxia!

Just a little note about something I happened to overlook. Obviously, I knew I was going to a higher altitude country. Obviously I had already received word that I would be living in the highlands, and had even seen some numbers about the mountainous region I would be living in, and what the elevation was in that town. But for some reason, before leaving the states I had failed to really take into account the gravity of the difference (pun intended).

I’ve been staying near the Peace Corps office outside Guatemala City and have already started to notice the thinness of the air when climbing stairs. In just a week and a half’s time, I’ll be going to travel to Totonicapan, where I’ll be living for the next year, and the elevation there is even higher than it is here.

Totonicapan, my home for the next year

Totonicapan, my home for the next year

I think what makes it even more notable is the fact that every single place I’ve ever lived in my life, from Central Illinois to the lowland rainforest of Panama to the Bay Area on the west coast, was as pretty much at sea level.

So, I did what nerdy people do and made a graph to illustrate just how pronounced the difference is between where I am living here, Totonicapan, and where I’ve been living for the past 30 years of my life.

I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be running any marathons anytime soon. At least, not without any performance enhancing drugs or mouthfuls of coca leaves.


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