Guatemala’s Unique Chachales

Red beads have long held a certain fascination not just here but around the world.

A second word is chachal, Quiché for necklace. The evolution of chachales in Guatemala is a fascinating tale of history, economics and anthropology. At the time of the Conquest, Guatemala’s indigenous prized red coral as component in necklaces. As easily recoverable near-shore coral became scarce, sharp traders, chiefly in Europe, manufactured substitutes and introduced them into Guatemala as trade goods. These were almost but not always red, apparently to satisfy taste here and elsewhere.

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La Cambalacha Youth Art Initiative

Gabriela (Gabi to her students) leading a dance exercise

Text and photos by Jennifer Block Restoring creative expression through direct action, Gabriela Cordón aims to transform Guatemala’s educational system via her youth arts initiative. You’d be forgiven for thinking La Cambalacha is just another summer camp for kids. The place spills forth with color and laughter. On stage, a group of children practice a clown routine; another group makes […]

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Supportive Circus Troupe

Lara Paxton’s Aerial Army of Love puts on a special show for some children of Safe Passage

Text and photos by Brooks Vanderbrush Throughout the ages, the circus has provided a happy escape for millions of people of all ages and walks of life. Whether a traditional three-ring show under the big top or a small, specialized act featuring a few extremely talented performers, the circus always manages to bring hushed awes, smiles and occasional gasps to its […]

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Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope has drilled several water wells in the mountains near Jalapa

Wells of Hope is a non-denominational group founded on Christian principles by Ted Vander Zalm and his wife Miriam in 2004. It is a team of numerous individuals with roots in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. Wells of Hope is a program or offshoot of The Warehouse of Hope. After working from tents for a couple of years, Wells of […]

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Orchids: The colors of my land

by Bernd Martin Colors enhance our emotions and often warm our hearts with their beauty. Coming in an array of wonderful colors, orchids embrace the whole spectrum of the rainbow. An orchid is a special gift to ourselves and to others. Guatemala, the land of eternal spring, has approximately 1,000 species of orchids. Nearly everybody in Guatemala cultivates orchids in […]

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The Eyes of Violeta

Violeta Marroquín at exhibition

Inauguration Wednesday, 4th-7:30pm; featuring paintings on silk by Violeta Marroquín at the Antigua Center, 7a calle poniente #11, La Antigua Guatemala Violeta Marroquín, born in 1976 in Guatemala City, started painting at an early age. As a child she was educated in the arts, but at the university level she chose to study communications. In November 2002, Violeta moved to […]

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Festival Atitlán

Ranferí Aguilar and Hacedor de Lluvia (Rain Maker)

March is coming, time for Festival Atitlán. On March 14, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Santiago Atitlán will once again host this annual alternative cultural event featuring live music and arts. Since 2001, there have been six festivals, each one more interesting than the last. Proceeds from the past four festivals have been donated to help rebuild Hospitalito Atitlán, which was destroyed by mudslides from Hurricane Stan in 2005.

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Cantores Finlandeses Performs For Guatemala

Cantores Finlandeses is a mixed-voice choir of 22 singers

Cantores Finlandeses is a mixed-voice choir of 22 singers under the leadership of conductor Sören Hakola and accompanied by Martin Segerstråle on the piano. Specially put together for the trip to Guatemala, the choir represents the amateur music life of Finland’s Swedish-speaking population and belongs to the country’s largest Swedish-language association for amateur music. All the singers belong to choirs […]

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This is no Caribbean Island

La Antigua Guatemala's Official Emblem (photo: Rudy Girón)

That which we call La Antigua Guatemala by any other name would enchant us just the same This is a BIG controversy—this is a petty controversy. For reasons unknown, many people within the English-speaking community do not use the official name La Antigua Guatemala. Maybe it’s because the formal name is too long, or the person lacks the background information […]

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Falling in Love

One of the great mysteries in life is the exhilaration that comes from falling in love. Every cell in the body vibrates with new love. The heart bursts with energy, the mind swells with dreams and the physical senses become heightened. No wonder we’re seduced by the magic of falling in love! Try something different. Flip the cliché “love is […]

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Planting with Love

Revue editor Terry Biskovich (partially hidden by sapling) admires her mother’s memorial tree as others attending the planting look on.

Nineteen new tree and flower gardens were planted in 2008 along the Alameda Santa Lucía in La Antigua Guatemala, among them memorials for Bill and Liz Paddock, Bobbi and Hank Duflon, Mary Sue Morris, and Edie Kovick, mother of REVUE editor and co-publisher Terry Kovick Biskovich. Recently a Guatemalan couple from Silver Spring, MD donated a tree garden “in memory” […]

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Valentine Chocolates and Exotic Soups

Forrest Gump’s life may have been a box of chocolates. My box has included snails—and worse. On February 12, 1993, I returned to Guatemala after three months Stateside, for what Latin Americans call el pedido, “the asking.” The thing I was going to ask for was the hand of my fiancee, Mely González, from her parents. I thought doing so […]

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The Raw Coffee Quality Pyramid

In the coffee world, there’s a quality pyramid that illustrates the many types and qualities of this popular beverage. The broad base of the pyramid rests on the two main commercial species: arabica and robusta. Arabica is the one that popularized coffee consumption throughout the world, and all fine coffees belong to this species. Robusta is regularly used for soluble […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Red

Red Flowers (photo: Smith and Riegel)

Just a little dab of red will do you, if you’re trying to put the colors of Guatemala on canvas. You’d need lots of variations of blues, greens, and browns to capture the subtle shades of this country’s glorious Highlands, jungles and coastlines. Your pallet needs only a bit of red. But don’t forget the red, as it’s essential.  Red can be frustrating, such as a red […]

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February 2009 in Revue Magazine

Natalia Kungertseva portrays Princesa Aurora in Sleeping Beauty as part of the X Festival Internacional de Cultura Paiz (see DateBook)

There is plenty to do this month in Guatemala and we have the calendars, schedules, articles and information to help you through it. Our cover photo is an indicator that cultural events are a big factor in February. Every other year the Festival Internacional de Cultura Paiz takes place in La Antigua and this year’s events look to be extremely […]

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