Blogs from Quetzaltenango, Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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After leaving Antigua (and that wonderful coffee farm!) we spent a few days in Xela. Roger and I were pretty excited to show them life here. We celebrated my birthday at a restaurant that overlooks all of Xela and visited TRAMA for some souvenirs. We also went to the cemetery to share the legend of Vanushka (died from a broken heart), and ate out at all our favorite restaurants, bars, etc. It was fun sharing this part of life with friends from back home! We decided to spend our last weekend together at the ocean, so Saturday morning we started our last leg of the adventure. We started the day off with a trip to some volcanic hot springs about an hour away from Xela. SO RELAXING. We just layed around the hot springs, relaxing and ... read more
Start of the sunset
Sunset
Group shot!


Wczoraj po całodziennej podróży z San Cristobal de las Casas dotarłem do miasta Quetzaltenango w Gwatemali. Jechałem autobusem turystycznym. Kwestia przejazdu pomiędzy oboma krajami wygląda tak, że w miejscowości granicznej Ciudad Cuauhtemoc wysiadamy z busa meksykańskiego, przechodzimy odprawę paszportową, przekraczamy granicę i ładujemy się do busa gwatemalskiego, który czeka już podstawiony po gwatemalskiej stronie. Nie ma czegoś takiego jest bezpośrednie przekroczenie granicy w jednym busie. Z daleka widać, że Gwatemala to kraj gór i wulkanów. Cały horyzont przed nami to góry i stożki wulkanów. Samo miasto graniczne to nic specjalnego. Dużo straganów i syfu. Najlepiej to od razu stamtą spadać. Później robi się już fajniej i droga wiedzie wzdłuż malowniczej górskiej rzeki. Dookoła wysokie zalesione góry. Trochę przypominało mi to ni... read more
Uliczka w Xela
Baseny termalne we Fuentes Georginas
W basenie


All I really managed to get through in that last blog post was their 1st/2nd day in Guatemala-- yikes!! We really packed a whole bunch into just 2 weeks, but hopefully I can get a bit further on sharing their trip with this blog post :) I left off with us leaving Tikal (after getting our plane tickets, passports, etc back). From the airport in Guatemala City we took a cab to Antigua and headed off to the hostel Roger and I stayed in previously. Because this was our travel day from Hell, our reservations got lost and we ended up roomless for the night. Luckily, the lady who owns Villa Esthela is really nice and flexible and found enough beds for us to stay the night (for free), and helped us out by calling some ... read more
View from the hike
View from the hike
View from the hike


February 5th, Rog and I woke up early to start our trek to Guatemala City so we could pick up his sister, her boyfriend, and our roommate at the intl airport. It's a good thing we decided on an hour earlier than normal because that was the day the chicken buses decided to protest the government and shut down all major highways. I wish I was joking, you guys. But nope. We get on our first chicken bus, and I pop a dremamine (super sleepy but no motion sickness) since it was supposed to be just a straight 4 hour ride there. Ha! After an hour the bus stops and no one has any idea whats going on. We finally get informed that the bus we're on is heading back to Xela and there's another bus ... read more
Trumpet Tree
Glyphs
Jason, Man of the Woods


ahhhh I am SO sorry I have been a horrible blog updater!! With finishing up our time at TRAMA and then having visitors for 2 weeks, this is one of the first chances I've had to just sit around and not do anything! I have a feeling it will take a few blog posts to catch up with the end of January and most of February -- again, I APOLOGIZE! The last week of January was a bit of a busy one for us - we traveled around to a few different places with a great girl we met volunteering at TRAMA. Her name is Chiara and she's Italian. She's back in Italy now (actually, Scotland visiting her sister) but we're still in touch and I think we will be for quite some time :) Chiara, ... read more
Museum
Chiara in front of the big one!
The biggest one there

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Not too much has been happening lately. Just living life in Xela :) I started teaching English to a really nice lady 3 times a week. Her husband is Canadian and she'll be moving there in a few months so we're working on just getting her already-good English even better! I'll get paid in Spanish lessons (my choice), so that's pretty rad. It'll be nice to get some formal Spanish in while I'm down here! We only have 10 days left of our TRAMA volunteering. It's a bit bittersweet. I really love the association and everything they do for so many women in Guatemala, and I've been able to travel with them and meet some really great people through volunteering. But at the same time, it's a lot of work some days and it can be ... read more


It's been awhile since I wrote last - sorry! To be honest though, not too much really happened before Christmas. We just did the norm -- wake up, coffee (Roger is in LOVE with our espresso maker!), volunteer, dinner, sleep with a few hours of bass and books thrown in. Christmas wasn't really anything too different either. We decided not to exchange gifts since we're sharing all money and everything we own down here anyways. It was a bit of a bummer - I didn't think I'd be bothered by it too much but I really took it hard. It was so different (and not that awesome) to have Christmas without family, without snow, without yummy smells from the kitchen all day. And then looking at everyone's awesome times on Facebook made me even more sad! ... read more


Earlier this week (the 19th), we had our first benefit party with TRAMA! They actually had a benefit party like, the night before we started volunteering with them, but this was the first one we had a hand in helping out with. It actually started because a lady named Denise, who owns a restaurant called La Esquina Asiatica (the Asian Corner), was being featured on a program back in Singapore, her home country. They were doing a piece on entrepreneurs who have been successful outside of their native country. Well, Denise lives at Yoga House with a number of TRAMA volunteers and it was brought up that we should collaborate on a night. Denise wanted a full house to show the news crew and everyone back home; and we can always use fundraising ideas! We called ... read more
Amparo, Pamela and Fabiana
Roger and Amparo
TRAMA team + Denise!


Continuing our week-long vacation in Antigua :) I ended part 1 with Roger's win against the Estonian guy in Chess. The day after that was Sunday, and the Vikings were playing the Cowboys. We found a pretty Americanized bar the night before and went back to watch the game (and eat Chili fries mmmm). There was another Vikings fan there - he was from MN originally, but had been moving around a lot and had actually been living in Guatemala for a few years with his wife and kiddos. There was also a table of Cowboys fans behind us (ughh). It sucked when the Vikes lost -- everyone knew who the 3 Vikings fans were! The next day was MONDAY NOVEMBER 5th - AKA the day we saw VICTOR WOOTEN. For those of you who don't ... read more


Last Thursday was Halloween! In Xela it's really not celebrated and the local's seem to view it as a Devil's holiday of sorts. There are bars that cater to students and offer a free shot or something if dressed up. Roger and I ended up going out last minute the night before to meet up with some friends. We obviously didn't bring costumes with us so we had to improvise. We ran to a secondhand store, a paca, and found a red and white striped winter hat.... obviously that would be a perfect Waldo costume. Roger claimed it and bought a white shirt to go with it that he later colored with red stripes (via red Sharpie). We made some cardboard cat ears at home and I attached them to a headband, dressed all in black ... read more
Walk to Cemetery
Decorated Tomb
Kites




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