Blogs from Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Pacific Coast, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


I wanted to spend a day exploring this region before heading up to Lago Atitlan, so I visited the little frequented Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa. Not expecting too much from this city I was pleasantly surprised that the town was clean, friendly and bustling with activity. I was in search of a lost Olmec City hidden in the sugar cane fields. The taxi drivers wanted $20 for a lift to the sites, so I took Shank's pony and a rudimentary map looking for good fortune. Trundling up the road I found good fortune who went by the name of Ricardo and had a motorbike. He stopped and asked if I was looking for the archaeological sites - he could give me a ride if I wanted as they were difficult to find without transport. This is the ... read more
Offerings from a Mayan ceremony
'Discovering' a carving in the sugar cane plantation

In Antigua, the Calles run East-West and the Caminos run North-South. This makes it easy to read the map. Visitors think this means it is easy to find your way around. The only problem is--there are no street signs. In your hotel room you can think, plan and organize your walk around Antigua. But you won’t find your way around by thinking. There are no signs. You have to look up from the map, find the landmarks and use your gut feelings about which way to go. Guatemala taught me the joy of going with my guts. Saturday was our last full day in Santa Lucia. As usual, the mountain sky was a crisp, azure blue in the morning, but turned to an angry grey by afternoon. By 2:00, what was thick as fog covered the ... read more
View from the third floor
Surprise Gathering

As the fourth of July is upon us, Americans have 10 reasons to celebrate. The Bill of Rights. Guatemala does not have a Bill of Rights. Speech isn’t free everywhere. I have agonized over the writing of this blog. I long to share with you all the power, courage and beauty of my friend Julio’s work. It is what has impressed me the most about this extraordinary man. But I can’t do it over the internet. So, you are all invited to join me at my home on Friday, August 7, 2009 at 7PM. I’ll provide the margaritas and dinner. Julio will provide an enlightening and compelling presentation and a chance to make the world a better place. If you are on this blog list, Facebook, Toastmasters, or we are connected in some other way, I ... read more
The Conflict
The Women
Witness to Healing

My father was a bit of a joker. When I started dating way back in 1972, he wanted to be sure the boys treated me right. When that nervous knock came at the door, he would open it wearing a warm smile and say... “Hello, My name is Herb Beck. You must be a smart young man because my daughter is very special. Here, let me show you my gun collection. I’m an expert marksman. Please have her home by 10:30 PM.” I was always escorted home by 10PM. Meeting the family of someone you care about can be nerve wracking. You want them to like you. You want to like them. I was delighted when Julio invited Luke and me to spend two days with his family. It would be great to see his ... read more
Kitasume and the Teddy Bear
Meet the Family
Julia, Luke and Kitasume

*** Below is Ray's start, we can't edit the caps, sorry.*** What a cople of days ,end to end action. One day it was our 225 kilometers of twisting road through the mountains from Oaxaca or the night spent in a colonial hotel in Tempatcula. I HAVE NEVER IN MY 125,00 MKS OF RIDING EEVER SEEN ANYTHING THA YOU COULD COMPARE TO OUR RIDE THROGH LOW MOUNTAINS ON A 2 LANE ROAD THAT WAS PURE CURVES THE WHOLE WAY . I ACTUALLY WAS STARTING TO HOPE FOR A STRAIGHT STRETCH AFTER THE FIRST HOUR AAND A HALF.WE SAW AUAVA PLANTS ON THE VILLAGE SPOTS AND THE MESCAL. Pretty well have to catch up later. We've had long days, very little internet places as we travel further south. Leaving Mexico turned out to be a bit of ... read more
Pacific Ocean
Hotel Lobby

Whenever I plan to rise early on a free day somehow the alarm keeps moving on a little later until it's not so early. Saturday was no exception. Once I got going, I found myself on a route I had travelled before with a choppy boat ride to Santiago followed by a pick-up to San Lucas. From here some inprecise pronunciation on my part (or too many names beginning with San) meant the next journey was a short (but free) one on discover of the misunderstanding. By this point I was stuck at one of those nothingy places where roads meet and subsquently a Pepsi stand emerges, some kids sell fruit and people wait around with stacks of wood and bundles of grass. If the roads are major enough, whole towns appear, which are normally scruffy, ... read more
Stone 1
Stone 2
Stone 3

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