It Really is Worth it

The amazing view from El Mirador

Turquoise pools and mysterious caves are just two reasons why Semuc Champey is a must-visit destination. When traveling, you often find yourself evaluating the many destinations, and here in Guatemala the variety is astounding. One of the must-visit attractions is Semuc Champey. You may have seen pictures of the shimmering turquoise pools, cascading through the jungle. The water is so […]

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Cobán

Tour guide Gloria shows how it’s done

Stop and smell the coffee… and the cardamom Cobán, the capital of the department of Alta Verapaz and seat of some of the best coffee-growing terrain in Guatemala, often gets overlooked as visitors buzz right through on their way to Semuc Champey or in search of the quetzal in the nearby cloud forests. However, the city is worth a closer […]

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Birds of a Feather?

The new nation of Timor Leste has yet to choose its national bird. For the moment, though, a chicken appears both on a coin and on postage stamps. This might not be as bad of a choice as it initially appears. Chickens, considered objectively, are resplendent things. Colonel Sanders would never have been interested in any of our local national […]

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RIOS Guatemala

2012 expedition group on the río Cahabón (Alta Verapaz), photo: Luis Enrique Lopez Argueta

written by Max Baldetty RIOS Guatemala is the result of the passion for paddling, the love of nature and the need to preserve at least one river in Guatemala. The push to create RIOS Guatemala came most recently from an expedition to paddle and film the country’s endangered rivers (details of the documentary screening are at the end of this […]

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A Cangrejear, Let’s Go Crabbing

By Tara Tiedemann

It’s the beginning of the rainy season and I’m relaxing in a hammock at my favorite little beachside haunt on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. A couple of friends are sitting nearby. We’re just hanging out and talking when someone mentions something about crabs. Crabs being one of my favorite seafood delights, I perk up. “Crabs, where? What kind of […]

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The Rabin Ajau 2012

This incredible pageant will take place in Cobán, Alta Verapaz on Saturday July 28 – 4pm The annual Rabin Ajau pageant exalts the purity and essence of the indigenous cultures from the four cardinal points of Guatemala and brings together in a harmonic convergence all the Maya ethnicities of the Land of the Quetzal and the Jaguar. The Rabin Ajau […]

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RABIN AJAU UPDATE: A Princess is Crowned

Selected from a field of some 80 young Maya women, Rosa Lidia Aguaré Castro, from Santa Lucía La Reforma, Totonicapán, is the new Rabin Ajau (Daughter of the King) for 2011-2012. The highlight of the annual National Folkloric Festival in Cobán, the magical pageant was conducted July 30 at the sports stadium field house. In addition to heartfelt presentations by […]

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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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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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Cobán’s Rabin Ajau Pageant, Guatemala

text and photos by Gary Kaney Women from more than 90 communities competed last month in the single-most impressive festival of indigenous tradition in Guatemala: the Folkloric Festival of the Rabin Ajau in Cobán and the election of the Princess Tesulutlán. Contestants wore their colorful native finest, including the colorful hüipil, head dress and jewelry unique to their village—but it […]

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