Blogs from Antigua, Capital Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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Christmas Blog Letter - 2015 December 21, 2015 Dear Friends and Family, This has been a difficult letter for me to write as I review the past year’s events; for those who may not know, John passed away on May 4 of metastatic prostate cancer, peacefully at home according to his wishes. We were blessed to have had fifty years of wonderful adventures together raising two amazing children who have given us three amazing grandchildren: Erika and Jose’s son Daniel is ten and live in Austin, TX and Matt and Megan live in Antigua, Guatemala with Lorelai Pearl (Lola, age 3 3/4) and Cash (age two). Last year’s letter ended by saying we were leaving for Chile and Antarctica shortly and indeed, we did just that. We spent six days on our own in the Lake ... read more


Holy cow. It's been a very full few weeks, and an incredible few months. I recently finished working at Earth Lodge. I was volunteering here for 3 months and then went to the lake, Lago Atitlan, for a couple weeks to relax and explore a bit before making my way back up to Mexico. I don't remember the last time I posted on here, but its been a while. It's hard now to try to find my experience in Guatemala into a blog post. Overall I'm just feeling deeply grateful and very excited. My time here at the lodge has been so good. Connecting with wonderful people, some I only get to hang out with for a day or 2 during their stay here and some that I live with for anywhere from 4-12 weeks. Everyone ... read more
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Just two nights, one day in Antigua before heading to San Pedro La Laguna for a few days round Lago Atitlan. The shuttle to Antigua wasn't the longest bus ride (took about 8 hours), but definitely the least comfortable so far! We have spent the day getting laundry done (yay- clothes don't smell cavey anymore!) and wandering around the city. It's a very pretty colonial city, with lots of church ruins and churches that have been rebuilt, pastel coloured shops and houses and cobbled roads. The city used to be the capital, before it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. It's surrounded by 3 volcanoes, including one active one, but the clouds meant that we couldn't really see anything!! Very excited to be at Lago Atitlan tomorrow for my birthday :)... read more


Oh my goodness. It has been quite a while since I have written a blog post. I made the leap from Mexico to Guatemala, a coon's age ago actually. Meant to update, just been too content here to do so. San Cristobal was the last place in Mexico I was in. I took an 11 hour overnight bus ride from Oaxaca city to the smaller, chillier town of San Cristobal. Surrounded by lovely mountains and spirited with zapatistas, this town definitely imprinted the desire in me to come back with more time. I was there for just a few days since I boogied on pretty quick to Earth Lodge in order to take up a volunteering position. I really did love San Cristobal. Had some lovely baked goods, and enjoyed reconnecting with some friends I'd met ... read more
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The flight into Guatemala City was pretty spectacular because the plane had to skirt around two lofty towers of cumulonimbus clouds with the sun setting behind them. The greater intensity of Guatemala City was immediately obvious at the airport. More pushy taxi touts, and more serious frowns on the crowd. Bill's friend David met us at the exit and took us across town to his family's lovely home in a gated community within GC. They generously provided a lovely meal of beef, wild mushrooms and asparagus souffle, and more alcohol than one could respectfully accept. We drank a lot, and really enjoyed the Guatemalan rum "Zacapa" as well as a Spanish sherry in the solero style called "Cardinal Mendoza". Later when I visited Dan Murphys on the web, I was only able to find Romate Cardinel, ... read more
Flying into Guatemala City around a storm
Electioneering Baldizone-style
Electioneering in 2015


After a lie in and a late breakfast we headed off to a museum Scott has been wanting to visit since we got here but have failed to find. We discovered why it was so hard to find today - because it's in the middle of a 5 star hotel and it's more of a national park than a museum! The Caso Santo Domingo is rated the number one thing to do in Antigua on TripAdvisor and it was an experience... In the first open part of the ruins there were destroyed tombs but in a glass case for all to see were a pair of human remains from 400 years ago. And human remains seemed to be a running theme throughout the tour which was rather unexpected and eerie to say the least. We descending ... read more
One of many skeletons
Casa Santo Domingo Fountain
Casa Santo Domingo Fountain


The 25th of July is not an average day in Antigua apparently. Today the entire town celebrated Saint James, all day, non - stop, everywhere. Music flooded the streets and thousands paraded through with different costumes and dances. Sitting in Central Park watching the locals enjoying the celebrations but also the peddlers trying to make some money and extremely young children shining shoes and selling cigarettes shows how polarised our societies are. We escaped the fiesta for a couple of hours on the coffee tour high up in the mountains. Did you know coffee starts off as a red fruit? Well we know everything about coffee now! And we have realised that coffee back home is not real coffee! While up there one of the volcanoes puffed out some smoke which you can sort of see ... read more
Gotcha!
Antigua day parade
Gotcha 'gain!


Buenos dias! What a beautiful place Antigua is. We started out bright and early this morning and had a traditional (interesting) breakfast (see picture) with coffee and we must say, the coffee back home is like dirty water compared to Guatemalan coffee, yum! Every corner we turn there is a landmark to be seen and we turned a lot of corners more than once thanks to Annie's map skills! It is quite similar to New Orleans only busier and more colourful. It was nice to sit and people watch in Central Park although the midday heat gradually sent us back to the hotel for a break from the blazing sun which has burnt Annie's shoulders. As you can see from the pictures we went to a chocolate museum where the tour was very different from what ... read more
Ruins


E fractured her ankle. There was nothing dramatic or spectacular about it. We were on the edge of Guate, hitchhiking out, walking along the highway to find a better spot when I saw her suddenly double over and begin to cry. She said she heard a crack and my immediate thoughts turned towards her hip whilst my heart began racing; it wasn't until a minute or two later when she explained it was her ankle that I breathed a miniature sigh of relief. She had stepped on a stone and twisted her ankle. Quite severely though, clearly, as she is now laid up in Zona 3, Guate, with Couchsurfing host Alejandro. I am sat at a hostel in Antigua. We were leaving Guate for Honduras, hoping to reach the Carribean island of Utilla within a couple ... read more
Cute dog at Earth Lodge.
Erika resting her ankle on the way to Puerto Barrios.
Regular Saturday protests outside the Presidential Palace.


Have you ever stood in the breeze up a hill and stared at the sky, those moments of Devine peace when you exhale pain and inhale forgiveness. Just 20 minutes out of Antigua town I stand, gazing at the full moon, Fuego volcano erupting in the back ground, Venus and Jupiter alining in the sky above us. The calm, the energy, it blew me away. Those once in a lifetime experiences are why I travel, there where I find my release. Never have I seen the earths core blowing out of an active volcano, I mean how many people actually experience these things. It makes you wonder suddenly, how varst and insane Mother Earth truly is. How beautiful, how unexplainable. Our inner emotions, our daily struggle peril in insignificance when the sky, the moon, the stars, ... read more
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