Carnelian

Color-chart people say carnelian is a reddish-brown somewhere between cardinal and cerise. OK, if you say so. Painters in oil say carnelian is a perfect shade as a skin tone in painting handsome Mesoamerican natives. Jewelry makers and rock hounds say carnelian is a form of quartz, found worldwide, soft and easy to carve. Crafts makers say it’s onyx, which […]

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Dozens attend fundraiser for Niños de Guatemala

Niños de Guatemala

Dozens of patrons enjoyed cocktails and appetizers Saturday evening, July 16, at a fundraiser for Niños de Guatemala (NDG), an NGO that operates a school for poor children in Ciudad Vieja, among other education-related services. Guests met with blue-shirted staff and volunteers and viewed a series of photographs depicting children and teachers at NDG’s school, Nuestro Futuro, which offers quality […]

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Big Birds and Fast Slides

Plenty of entertainment at IRTRA, Xetulul and Xocomil The first thing you’ll notice at the resort are the peacocks. Male and female, big and small, it’s like Noah’s Ark hit ground in the Highlands and covered the place with more birds than Ireland has sheep, strutting around like Freddie Mercury at Wembley. A short bus ride out of Quetzaltenango takes […]

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Chance Reunion

Eric (l) and Matt (r) meet up after 35 years (photo: Shaun Paul Griffiths)

by Eric Mencher Years ago in the infancy of my photojournalism career, after I complained yet one more time about a dropped credit line under one of my artful, award-winning photos (or so I had naively thought), an editor once told me that only mothers and other journalists read credit lines and mastheads. I can’t vouch for the mother part, […]

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Nelson Lunding

Nelson Lunding

Like thousands of his New Orleans neighbors, blues piano player and singer Nelson Lunding was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “There was eight feet of water in the street, three feet of water in the house, cars were underwater…my neighborhood didn’t exist,” Lunding recalls. “People became insane, angry, heartbroken—including myself.” After more than a decade of performing in New […]

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Cobán’s Folkloric Festival

Contestants from the 2010 Rabin Ajau pageant in Cobán. (photo: Thor Janson)

In 1936 Cobán prospered greatly from coffee exports to Europe. A group of leading businessmen decided that it was time to organize a regional fair, and so the inaugural “Feria Departamental” was planned for the first week in August. As part of the event it was decided to elect two queens, one representing the European population and the other chosen […]

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God’s Child Project

Volunteer Melanie H. with a child recovering from malnutrition. (photo: Ray Conway)

20 years of improving lives by Hannah Wallace Bowman Malnourished kids are among the many who benefit Guatemala has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in Latin America, with 45 percent of children under the age of 5 suffering from this chronic and life-threatening illness. When Jose Alberto arrived at Casa Jackson, an emergency recovery center for infants suffering […]

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Compañero en Salud

Compañero en Salud

Changing lives through surgery by Astrid Barrios Since 2004 the NGO Compañero en Salud (CENS) has been providing surgical and health services to needy villagers in rural Guatemala. Our mission includes acting as a bridge between foreign surgeons and the Guatemalan patients. National and international doctors, nurses and medical personnel have helped more than 40,000 patients (75% of them women […]

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Guatemala in scale

Relief Map is a 3-D wonder in the capital Once upon a time a man made a map. Accompanied by a donkey, he traveled around Guatemala, took measurements of the country and then returned to the capital to scale up. That man was engineer Francisco Vela, and with the help of his assistant, Claudio Urrutia, in 1905 he designed a […]

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Viaventure donates bus to Global Visionaries

Viaventure donates bus to Global Visionaries

Many years ago, Viaventure purchased a school bus and had it driven down to Guatemala from the United States by two staff members. The bus was never used to the extent that had been anticipated by the La Antigua-based tour operator; it remained parked for long periods of time. During a recent conversation with friends from Global Visionaries, the idea […]

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Rabin Ajau: Daughter of the King

Contestants from last year’s Rabin Ajau. The focus of the pageant is on spiritual beauty, oratory and  cultural knowledge. Additional criteria include grace, charm, carriage, sincerity and intelligence.

Cobán’s annual festival includes a spectacular traditional pageant It was a cool July afternoon and the cheepy cheepy (misting rain) was refreshing the land when we arrived in Cobán, the capital of Alta Verapaz Department. The last week in July is when Cobán celebrates its annual festival with parades, rodeos, expositions, fairs and one of the most wonderful cultural events […]

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Food Festival in July

Presentations at last year’s food festival

2nd Annual Sacatepéquez Festival Gastronómico Culinary fiends beware! Prepare your taste buds and tummy for a feasting, as July 17 is La Antigua Guatemala’s annual Festival Gastronómico in celebration of its patron saint, Santiago Apóstol (St. James the Apostle). The event, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m., takes place at The Cultural Center César Brañas on 5a […]

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Paseo de La Sexta, Zone 1

Restoration brings new life to an old district Last year, the municipality of Guatemala City undertook a project to conserve and revitalize the city’s heritage, and it started with La Sexta Avenida, Zone 1: the backbone of el centro histórico. Historically, La Sexta was the fashion capital of Guatemala—the place to see and be seen—with shops selling luxury goods and […]

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Why does La Antigua celebrate St. James’ Day?

Saint James Monument in Cerro de La Cruz (photo: Juan Domingo Pérez)

The tradition dates to 1543 when the conquistadors named the community Santiago de Guatemala (St. James of Guatemala) after the apostle who was the conquerors’ patron saint and is the patron saint of Spain today. His feast day is July 25. Celebrations in what is now La Antigua Guatemala have been exciting over the centuries, but the fiesta has come […]

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Ex-Guerilla Entrepreneurship

The calm (and coffee) after the storm: Santa Anita La Unión Rebels are on the move in Libya, Egyptians are overhauling their constitution and Tunisians unseated a multi-decade dictator, but reading about it in Guatemala’s relative tranquility makes it easy to forget that the same turmoil engulfed Guatemala not long ago. A history of the 36-year civil war and what […]

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Red Dragons in the Market

Pitaya season is here (photo by Rudy Girón)

Pitaya season is here They are sweet, spiny and flaming red, rushing into your local markets by the dozens. Red dragons—in fruit form—are in season. Pitaya (dragon fruit) is common throughout Mexico and Central and South America, but is more popular in consumption in Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and China). The fruit looks like a prehistoric orb, a painted artichoke, […]

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All Aboard the Xela Express

Train-like tour hits Highland highlights With so many cultural, culinary and spiritual destinations in and around Quetzaltenango, visitors can enjoy a leisurely sampling of the area’s most interesting attractions simply by boarding a street-wise locomotive. Suited to travelers’ time-challenged schedules, Tranvia de los Altos shuttles visitors to significant sites in Guatemala’s second-largest city (commonly known as Xela, from the Mayan […]

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The Sacred Red Bean

But not from a vine, from a tree — the Palo de Pito The palo de pito tree is commonly found throughout the Highlands of Guatemala. It produces a bright red bean, which is used for divination by Maya shamans. The book of Popol Vuh is very clear about the red beans from this tree being used by the gods […]

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July 2011 in Revue Magazine

Rabin Ajau hopeful, 2010 (by Thor Janson - www.bushmanollie.com)

A pageant like no other commands our attention this month as young indigenous women from across Guatemala trek to Cobán and compete for the title of Rabin Ajau—Daughter of the King. Featuring some 80 contestants proudly dressed in regal traje, it’s among the most spectacular events of the Mayan world. Thor Janson attended last year’s coronation; his words and emotive […]

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