Just Another Day in Paradise

Coffee and Volcanoes (photo by <a href="http://photos.rudygiron.com" title="Visit for additional photos of volcanoes" target="_blank">Rudy Giron + photos.rudygiron.com</a>)

Coffee and Volcanoes (photo by Rudy Giron + photos.rudygiron.com)

Whether sun, wind, rain or clouds embrace the mountains, one thing is always certain—in Guatemala, it’s just another day in paradise.

Guatemala has many contrasts and cultural paradoxes. These contrasts are part of the journey of discovery. Whether you live here, or you’re on vacation, on a mission, a potential relocation or simply passing through, the discoveries that are yours to claim here are limitless— if you allow yourself to find them.

Being in a unique culture opens us to understand the “beginner’s mind.” That rare and precious moment when you see or learn of something for the first time! Imagine now the first taste of what has become your favorite food, or the beauty of a tree that took your breath away, or when you experienced a new culture with the eyes of a child!

These moments of discovery sow seeds that illuminate our inner being. They invite us to become more aware and to do more with our lives.

July is a wondrous month in Guatemala, and we often smile as we witness many who are obviously here for the first time, navigating the ever-changing, yet always stunning weather, tentatively interacting with the locals and finally relaxing into the joy of discovery. The trees are greener and the mountains have a lushness that comes forward from the rainfall … a call to “presence.”

“Perma-cation” is our made-up term that defines living and viewing everything around you in such a way that allows you to be open to the fullness of your surroundings. It allows you to take in the totality without becoming numb to the reality of a myriad of experiences that you are traversing every day.

One cultural discovery we first experienced in Guatemala is the reluctance of workers to say no when asked to do something. Even if the task being asked is not realistic for them, they will usually say yes and then simply not complete the task. Or, if you ask someone, using your best traveler’s Spanish, if they understand you they, too, will usually say yes. A cultural politeness that can lead to some fascinating interpretations!
How about the simple pleasure of ordering two amazingly good, large cappuccinos (capuchinos) and a pastry at an excellent coffee house and paying less than $5 for all of it! We always smile, too, at the value you receive in Guatemala and the consistent presence of those who really enjoy their jobs.

Sure, the rain may be falling in the afternoon, and there might be a group tying up traffic because they want their voices heard. Or tourists who have just arrived at the central park huddled together, uncertain, and then they relax and start allowing themselves to explore the beauty of La Antigua Guatemala. From that self-discovery they were able to take that smile with them as traveled to other parts of Guatemala.

The joy of discovery will lead to incredible insights and fascinating journeys that will forever enrich your life. After all, it’s just another day in paradise, so why not begin the joy of discovery today?

Sri and Kira have authored several books and are the owners of TOSA La Laguna.
email: office@tosaspa.com www.LakeAtitlanSpa.com

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