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

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Puerto Quetzal is the entrance to Antigua founded in 1552, served as the seat of government in the captaincy general of Guatemala for ove 200 years before being destroyed by a series of earth quakes in 1773. Antiqua is famous for it's unique Spanish Mudejar- influenced architecture that has made it a protected UNESCO world heritage site. The Cathedral Santiago built in 1542 and the church of our lady of Mercy, whose courtyard contains the largest fountain in latin America. The parquet central has large tress shading benches where you can sit and relax or watch the vendors, many in color local dressed, selling hand made textiles. The largest monastery in Antiqua the church of Santo Diminigo founded in 1542. The city is full of colonial buildings that now serve as hotels, cafes and galleries. As ... read more
Port
Active Volcano


EARTHQUAKE columns lean like drunks apse and knave ass over tea kettle columns caught in mid flight by a saint an angel a savior a virgin in crypts below skeletons repose in a dust whose age is an impenetrable thought dirt made by a trembling earth grinding mortar and brick and frescoe here there are words that weigh the worries of the earthquake temblor and you're not to worry go under a desk or neath a lintel until it passes it happens all the time here where sometimes all that remains are facades where stone Franciscans keep watch over pigeons while inside arches are now etched against the bluest skies whereas the word terremoto the very word itself may cause you to stand startled at it's very sound raises a siren within while the tremble of ... read more
WALL AND FRAME
ARCHES AND COLUMNS
EYE TO THE HEAVENS


Today I got a chance to explore Guatemala City a bit during the day. The architecture is very interesting, a lot of run down buildings and some more regal colonial facades on things like museums and churches. I took a walk down 8th Avenue to the main park where the Cathedral and Presidential Palace are (photos attached). Then I went to the famous Mercado Central, a huge market that stretches a whole block, conpletely underground. It was so colourful and eye-catching, everywhere I looked something new made me turn my head. Guatemala City (or Guate, as it's known here) is safer than other Central American capitals - I would never have explored San José in Costa Rica or Managua in Nicaragua alone, day or night. I was pleased I was able to get a chance to ... read more
Presidential Palace
Guate City
Mercado Central / Central Market


I arrived earlier than expected. Both Fabian and I had issues with our flights (he was going to Colombia). I was meant to fly via Costa Rica and El Salvador because I booked the cheapest but they cancelled my first flight which would have meant I would have missed my next two connections. So I went to complain to the lady at the airline desk and asked her to sort out my journey to Guatemala. I managed to land myself a direct flight and got there 5 hours earlier. Poor Fabian had no such luck, sadly... ended up much later in Bogotá than expected. I felt terrible because he came to Nica to spend time exploring with me and then this happened to him. I immediately met people at my hostel, again, quite a few GERMANS. ... read more
Me and Fran (Guatemala)
Janek from Czech Republic
L-R: Fran (Guatemala), Cath (Quebec), Axel  (Germany/Mexico), Janek (Czech Republic), Laurenz (Germany)


I arrived in Guatemala City late Friday night to find Guisela (Guise), my Airbnb host awaiting me with a giant sign that was shouting my name in capital letters. A tall, busty woman in her mid-60s with white spikey hair and bright purple glasses--she was sweet as can be and we took an instant liking to one another. She was especially delighted to learn that I speak Spanish and insisted I speak to her in Spanish (although we'd switch back & forth as we were searching for the right words). Upon arriving at her charming home, I set down my bags and joined her for a glass of wine at the kitchen counter. A few glasses later, we felt like old familiar friends and were ready to hit the hay. My first morning in Guatemala began ... read more
Guise's rooftop garden
Guise's rooftop garden


So I have arrived once again in Guatemala City to help the teachers teach in a 3-5 year old Montessori class in the area known as La Esperanza – The Hope. When I arrived, one large box full classroom materials was delayed in Houston and the people at the baggage counter said don’t worry we will deliver it tomorrow. I said, “Really? You’ll deliver it? The area is very bad.” They said that that was no problem and they would deliver it. I was amazed. When I got to UPAVIM of course they told me that there was no way it would be delivered directly to us because the police will stop them from coming down here. If the gangs see a delivery car, it would be stopped and robbed. So, we had to make arrangements ... read more
My welcome
Sunrise on Volcán Aguas
The contrast between natural beauty and tin shack


Differences in neighborhoods and mindsets This blog isn't really about my trek back to Guatemala with more stuff but about one of the teachers I work with at UPAVIM who came to visit me. About a year and a half ago, I bought a house and posted pictures of it online. As things go on Facebook, Dina saw the post and messaged me say how happy she was for me that I bought a home. I told her she was welcome to visit, but I doubted that would ever come to pass. When I arrived in Guatemala last summer some of the volunteers told me that for the previous six months Dina had been excitedly telling everyone that she was going to my house in the USA. We joked about how she would get there because ... read more
Dina's neighborhood
At the Miccosuki indian cultural village
Gambling time


Cayos Cochinos is a group of 15 islands in between Roatan and Honduras. It is world famous for it´s marine life and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The reefs of Cayos Cochinos are military protected and visits are strictly controlled by the government of Honduras. The islands have been the site for the TV show Survivor Italy, Survivor France and Surivior Spain. The village on the island of Chachauate has been around since the 1800´s after a slave ship left them stranded. The Garifuna tribe who live on the island dwell in huts and survive off rain water and fresh fish they catch by hand line. Toi da di Honduras va den Roatan cua Bay Islands nam 2013 va toi thay ve dep noi day nen bay gio toi den lan nua. Lan nay toi ... read more
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We hitchhiked part way to the border of Mexico-Guatemala. I have a current bout of stomach upset (the polite way to put it) and was low on energy as we mounted our bags onto our backs for the first time in over 4 weeks. Bouts of sickness come and go for us, they've rarely been a problem in Mexico, more an irritation. We have the Nepali experience as a benchmark, so anything else is child's play. Lots of people stopped to offer rides; trucks and families alike, and we went with a family going to more or less our destination. 20 minutes later, we were back on the side of the road. Either they didn't like the slight sweatiness we bought to their car, or there'd been miscommunication of their route. I like to think the ... read more
La fruta
Protest
General Cemetary


Distance driven today: 184 miles / 296 km Cumulative distance driven: 6,476 miles / 10,422 km Today’s trip: Huehuetenango to Guatemala City, Guatemala Indigenous masks bought for Christer’s collection: 1 Entering Guatemala, through the northwest region, also means that the entire road infrastructure quality dropped a few notches compared to Mexico. At the same time as the poverty level in the villages along the road became starkly visible. But perhaps the most noticeable change is the fact that the average driving speed immediately dropped to 30mph / 50km/h. This is primarily due to all the slow moving trucks, endless curves, constant grades thought the hills and mountains, and the complete lack of any chance to overtake other vehicles (even when driving a motorcycle!). Up until southern Mexico I could easily ride 250-400 miles / 400-650 km ... read more
Lake Atitlan and Panajachel
Mask shop in Panajachel
No straight or flat road in sight




Tot: 2.493s; Tpl: 0.037s; cc: 4; qc: 88; dbt: 0.0556s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.5mb