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Go Jump Off A Cliff: San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala

- Hannah

The wind whistles through the cracks in the volcanic cliff and my hair blows wildly around my face as I climb upwards along the narrow path, suspended in time and space over the crystal blue water of Lago de Atitlan.

Ahead of me my friends and brothers laugh and joke as they walk single file on their way to the jumping deck. Lizards skitter out of the way of our trampling feet to find new rocks to bathe in the glory of a tropical sun.

Plants and trees wave friendly greetings to us from their precarious holds on the mountainside. We are in Guatemala, living on the beautiful Lago de Atitlan, the deepest lake in Central America, a lake whose sparkling waters are cradled on all sides by jungle blanketed volcanoes.

My friend David sets down the basket of snack food and leans on the rail gazing down at the deep water thirty feet below. Phil and my three brothers start teasing about who’ll go first. Meanwhile I walk to the rail and look down. I swear, my heart stopped. Thirty feet! And I’m supposed to jump!

I hear a huge splash and look around to see that Phil has jumped. He surfaces grinning, so it can’t be that bad. One by one the others run, flying into the open air, leaving me last. When my turn comes I can’t think about it. I run, feeling my bare feet slap against the hot boards of the deck, and then, suddenly there are no boards.

The air sweeps around me, my momentum carrying me swiftly away from the land, all sound but my own scream is drowned out by the rushing wind. The water leaps up frighteningly fast to catch me, and with a thudding BOOM, the cool waters of the lake surge up around me, closing swiftly over my head. Bubbles form a cloud around me, filtering through my hair and up above me. With a few strong strokes I swim to the surface and gasp for air, a huge grin on my face. I jump again and again. I always scream!

Check out the video and hear me scream!

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