The Art of Absinthe

Legendary liquid spreads to La Antigua A drink of legend and mystique, absinthe is making a global comeback that’s also reached Guatemala. Said to be the spirit that induced Van Gogh to lop off his ear and perhaps tainted the captain of the Titanic, absinthe was concocted in the 1790s by a French doctor living in Switzerland and promoted as […]

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Delightful Desserts

And the winners—in the order of the panel’s preference—are: 1. New York Style Cheesecake: the real thing, with the taste of the Big Apple, made with 100% cream cheese and sour cream. No flour fillers here, and you can taste the difference. 2. Blackberry Cobbler: warm, with fresh blackberries, and—at least for me—vanilla ice cream. Yummm. 3. Crème Brûlée: with […]

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Peace Corps volunteers honored at 50th anniversary celebrations

Hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers serving in Guatemala joined U.S. Ambassador Stephen G. McFarland and guests recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the global service organization. Nearly 500 volunteers, members of host families, Peace Corps staff and special guests gathered at the ambassador’s residence in Guatemala City on Friday, March 25, for the occasion, which included the swearing in […]

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Life in the slow lane

Despite scares, pet tortoise enjoys a pampered life He survived a murder attempt in the United States and death threats in Honduras. He touched off a brief crisis at the Mexican border and was the object of a frantic search in La Antigua Guatemala. Yet as durable as the patterned shell he calls home, Jamal perseveres. “Slow and steady wins […]

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Anthony Wayne Berger 1944-2010

Wayne Berger, a versatile genius who spread Guatemalan voices over a radius of thousands of miles, has died in Jerusalem. He was 66. Wayne’s office always reminded me of the inside of a tackle box. But if you looked closely, you saw more than just books on biblical languages jumbled on shelves with coils of wire and spare parts for […]

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150 attend WINGS’ 10th anniversary celebration

WINGS 10th anniversary

Serving over 30,000 people in seven departments, WINGS recently celebrated over a decade of achievements in the fields of family planning, reproductive health and improving the lives of Guatemalan families. With the theme “It All Begins With Family Planning …,” WINGS’ 10th anniversary launch party on March 17 brought 150 guests to Mesón Panza Verde in La Antigua, where they […]

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Taking it to the Streets

by Martin Leadbitter Sunday, January 30, 2011, saw the first-ever public demonstration in Guatemala claiming respect, rights and legislation for all animals. The marchers gathered early at the assembly point on Guatemala City’s Avenida La Reforma, making new friends and mingling with old ones, admiring the costumed dogs and painted people, and the various banners and placards requesting redress of […]

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Action Speaks Louder

Asociación Hombres y Mujeres en Acción (Men and Women in Action) was founded in 2009 to address the most basic needs of people and to improve their quality of life. In just two years it has built 34 houses, installed over 250 vented stoves and treated over 2,000 patients in its remote medical clinics. Working mostly in San Martín Jilotepeque, […]

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Concerted Effort

With transatlantic support, new school opens in Jocotenango Built with an outpouring of support from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, a modern new school recently opened in Jocotenango for over 500 children, many of whom might not get an education otherwise. The spacious Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza has 20 classrooms, a computer lab, an audio-visual room, library, kitchen, psychology […]

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Revelers turn heads at Antigua’s version of Mardi Gras

Costumed revelers — and at least one pimped-out piñata — provided Antigua’s down-sized but festive version of Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday night at the second annual Antigua Masquerade Ball. An eye-catching assembly of plumed, beaked and beaded guests converged outside La Merced for a parade to the ruins of San José El Viejo, where the Venetian-style charity event was […]

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Winged Wonders on “Solid Stance” Street

One day last August, I drove down Avenida Hincapié in Guatemala City with my sons Ike (almost 12 by then) and JayJay (8). This odd street—you may know it—begins as soon as you pass under an aqueduct arch that seems to date from the reign of Marcus Aurelius. It is one of the few structures in town surviving from the […]

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Blues master Steve James performs in La Antigua

Internationally known blues guitarist Steve James traveled from Austin, Texas, to perform for an appreciative audience at Ocelot, the blues & jazz joint in La Antigua Guatemala. The intimate setting, limited to just 50 guests, was the perfect venue for James’ flawless fingerpicking on the guitar and mandolin. Singing old standards and newer favorites from his latest CD, ‘Short Blue […]

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Medical Tourism

As more U.S. residents are going abroad for medical treatment, an Antigua company guides medical tourists to doctors in Guatemala Frustrated with the rising costs and maddening bureaucracy of the U.S. medical system, more patients are looking overseas to get treatment of the same or better quality at a fraction of the cost. This year, well over 1 million North […]

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Will there be carpet making and processions during Lent?

Carpet making and processions during Lent

La Antigua has the largest celebration in the world for Lent and Holy Week, although second historically to Seville, Spain. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9, with one of 50 activities during a 40-day period! I love carpet making in Antigua! Sunday processions in March include nearby San Catarina Bobadilla, Santa Inés, and Jocotenango where you may see the […]

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Maguey Journey

Maguey Journey book cover

Discovering Textiles in Guatemala Author: Kathryn Rousso Three parts within 14 chapters; illustrations, b/w & color photography; appendix 1-5; table, Mayan terminology; glossary; bibliography; further reading & index Publisher: The University of Arizona Press, Tucson www.uapress.arizona.edu “There is no other publication quite like this one devoted to maguey use in Guatemala, past and present. Rousso’s photographs are excellent and provide […]

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Chocolate

Chocolate

Chocolate is coming back home to Central America, good chocolate at last. The cacao plant has been cultivated here for at least three millennia, the bean used as beverage and a food ingredient. Archaeologists found evidence of cacao cultivation at sites dating back to 1400 BC, with carvings of Maya enjoying the frothy, bitter drink. Spanish conquerors took chocolate to […]

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Wings 10th Anniversary Launch Party

‘It All Begins With Family Planning…’ Join WINGS in celebrating a decade of impressive achievements in the field of reproductive health and a continued commitment to improving the lives of Guatemalan families on Thursday, March 17, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Mesón Panza Verde in La Antigua. Founded a decade ago by retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sue Patterson, WINGS has […]

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2nd Annual Noche de los Chefs

Featuring exquisite, al-fresco dining, the second annual “Noche de los Chefs: 10 Restaurants Under a Summer Sky” is coming to Convento de Capuchinas in La Antigua on Saturday, March 26, 6:30-11:30 p.m. With proceeds benefitting the child-serving NGO CasaSito, the event includes eight chefs from Antigua restaurants and two from Guatemala City. In addition to fundraising for a good cause, […]

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Interruptus

Interruptus

In some ways we’re wired like a computer. We receive “interrupt signals” informing us that something is demanding attention. We have similar choices about how to respond, like pausing the “program” we’re running or to ignore the signal. While hardware interrupts are hard to ignore, software ones are subtle and insidious. Appropriately, they’re also called “a trap.” Our busy doing-and-thinking […]

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Magic Moments

Mayan wedding globe

‘I Do, Guatemala’ creates dream weddings amid Antigua’s romantic settings With volcanic backdrops, a signature arch, cobblestone streets and centuries-old ruins, La Antigua Guatemala couldn’t be more picturesque. Diana Sciarrillo of Guatemala City and colleague Romie Black of Atlanta (USA) want those and other images unique to Guatemala in wedding albums around the world. So last year they started “I […]

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Discovering the Mermaids

Author Janson makes friends with a young manatee

Once seen in the hundreds and even thousands, manatees are now only found in isolated enclaves along American coasts. text and photos by Thor Janson Three months after Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean, on Jan. 9, 1493, the ship’s log recorded: “On the previous day when the Admiral went to the Rio del Oro he saw three mermaids which rose […]

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Ceiba pentandra

Sacred tree for Classic Maya, national tree for Guatemala today by Dr. Nicholas M. Hellmuth Look at the sacred ceiba tree and you may notice that its spines resemble the round bumps that the Maya incorporated on their incense burners, cache vessels and urns. Notice the pattern of conical, spine-like protuberances on these thousand-year-old ceramic vessels. You get the same […]

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