Blogs from Guatemala City, Capital Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 4

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Yesterday, Oct. 12, was indigenous rights day here in Guatemala. It's at least in part a reaction to Columbus Day in the States. I was awoken by loud speakers blaring from trucks on Reforma, the main street in this part of the city, and still groggy from a lousy night's sleep, I went out on my balcony to see what was going on. I took these pix, but too bad I couldn't get any sound to go along with them. It was as much a protest against USA agricultural policies that the indigenous Guatemalans feel screw them over on their agricultural exports, as it was a demonstration in favor of indigenous rights. So Reforma was blocked and I had to wait awhile to leave for work. Once I finally got in my cab to go to ... read more
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I can't believe I have already been in Guatemala City for a week! OK, so I "escaped" to Antigua yesterday but still... I have been working in the Ceramoteca this week reviewing the ceramics from sites near the region where I did my fieldwork with the Sierra del Lacandon Regional Archaeology Project (SLRAP; PRASL in Spanish) in order to gain a familiarity with the materials that were recovered there, and how they were classified by others in the past (beginning in the 1930s and up through the 2000s) so that I can better classify the PRASL ceramics starting next month. It's a bit overwhelming to be in the Ceramoteca with collections of all the ceramics that have been excavated in Guatemala over the years. But it's a good learning process for me, and will help me ... read more


Some pix from my relaxed day in Antigua, Guatemala yesterday.... read more
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Photos of my Guatemala City apartment and the view from my balcony. Photos 1-12.... read more
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Starting my dissertation research in earnest has been a long time coming. Granted, everything I have done in Guatemala (and grad school) up to this point - the excavations, ceramics analysis, etc. - has been preparing me for this step, but still, it feels GIANT. I decided to blog - a very non-Betsy thing to do - about my time here in Guatemala as a way of keeping a journal of what I am doing and accomplishing, and also due to demand from friends and family for a way to keep up with what's going on with me while I am here. My first thing to tell you about is about my new little apartment. It's in a great area of the city - very close to the airport (yep, noisy!) and the archaeology museum, it's ... read more

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Hey! Je suis finalement arrivée hier soir en un seul morceau! Dans l'avion entre Miami et Guatemala City, il y avait deux madames à côté de moi qui me posaient plein de questions et qui n'arrêtaient pas de me dire qu'il était beaucoup trop dangereux de voyager seule! Ouf avec la fatique et l'appréhension de l'inconnu, elles ont failli me rendre folle! haha Mais tout c'est très bien déroulé! J’ai traversé les douanes sans problème (elle a photocopié mon passeport puis l’a étampé!), j’ai ramassé mes bagages puis je suis sortie à l’extérieur. Dehors, j’ai emprunté un téléphone, j’ai appelé l’auberge de jeunesse. Ana, la propriétaire, m’a dit de traverser la foule de monde (MER de monde, c’est fou!), de traverser la route, puis finalement de me placer sous le signe de SAMSUNG où elle est ... read more
Sunset and plane
Amis voyageurs
À l'auberge


(Day 811 on the road) Should we visit Guatemala City or not, that was the question we were faced with in Ilapa. We were back in Guatemala after our short visit to the ruins of Copan in Honduras and had just climbed a small volcano here, and were now deciding where to go next. On the one hand, Guatemala City was roughly on our route west anyway. On the other hand, the city is notorious for its high crime rate, and most travellers simply avoid it if they can. In the end, we made the decision based on the good old traveller motto - which has become my absolute favourite for reaching any kind of decision on the road: "Why not?" And of course it was a good choice to say it up front. If I ... read more
Bus conductor in Guatemala City
Fenced-off section for employees at many shops in Guatemala
Avocado seller


Flight landed 3 hours late, so I missed the early bus. I have to wait around until 3pm to take the next one to Xela. Should be there around 8pm tonight. Guatemala City driving is very, very scary. Narrow streets, insane drivers...yet no one seems to have wrecks. Yet. I can´t wait to get to Xela. GC is not my sort of town...huge, dirty, and not at all safe.... read more


Well, here we are in Guatemala City. We did not do much yesterday apart from travel. 9.5 hours to Miami, nearly 4 hours lay over, 2.5 hours to Gautemala City. Hotel Posada Belen is lovely - comfortable, friendly, very helpful staff. We had some beers some soup and bed. Up early this morning for an excellent breakfast, eggs, beans, melon and cheese with coffee and toast. Then we searched long, long time for a cash machine. Eventually found one. The search involved a lot of walking round Zona 1 which is atmospheric. There were multiple bands playing in the main square and market stalls everywhere selling pretty well everything. I´ve got a new bag - well it holds my wallet out of the way and ties it to my belt loops. Once we had cash, we ... read more
Hotel Tortoise
Parque Central


A long flight...short connections...shorter flights...rubbish American food...yummy sushi...New York skyline sillouetted with dusky pink, linear clouds... ...Guatemala City. Arrived at night to the usual hustle and bustle of airports, people pushing to take your bags...heavy for the Gringo girls! It´s strange arriving at a city at night, no taste of what it´s like, only the smells and lights. Settled or rather flopped into the little single bed twin room with Rosanna, and just as we´re relaxing, a mozy...GRRR...so a few more minutes spent hunting, slapping, cursing, then FINALLY...nod. Guatemala City is violent. With on average 17 murders everyday, it´s not somewhere to walk around at night. The political instability has heightened in the last few months (against the current president) due to the recent assassination of an anti-corruption lawyer (Rosenburg)...search youtube! Th... read more




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