The procession of Jesús Nazareno de la Caída de San Bartolomé Becerra

Semana Santa Guatemala

5th Sunday of Lent. March 13, leaves at 6am, returns at midnight. Passes Antigua’s Central Park at 4:30pm. For the online mobile interactive 2016 PROCESSION ROUTE click here. A day of pageantry and devotion. I remember waking at the stroke of 6 last year on the fifth Sunday of Lent in San Bartolo, a charming suburb of La Antigua Guatemala where I was […]

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How Holy Week Celebrations in La Antigua became the Largest in the World

Holy Week in Guatemala

Last year, it was estimated that 1.2 million visitors were in La Antigua for Lenten and Holy Week. When the Spanish conquerors arrived in Guatemala from Mexico in 1524, they brought with them the religious traditions from Seville, Spain. Little did they imagine that in the 21st century these celebrations would become the largest in the world. “Historical references to […]

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Trajes de Guatemala Finds a Home

Trajes de Guatemala

“At his home in Panajachel in 1959 I saw for the first time the unbelievable collection of 34 watercolors thematically titled Trajes de Guatemala.” Home was elusive for Frederick Siddaartha Crocker, native of West Virginia, son of an itinerant Pittsburgh wildcatter, scion of 19th century Oriental spiritualists, ensign whose ship the USS Terror was hit by a kamikaze. “Pat,” as […]

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BOOK ALERT: Incidents in the Life of a Maya Archaeologist

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As told to Winifred Veronda. Ed Shook approaches the reader of Incidents in the Life of a Maya Archaeologist “with outstretched arms and a toothy grin” and welcomes the unsuspecting into a life that, as he tells Winifred Veronda, didn’t progress from point A to point B but zigzagged from a night school engineering class to six decades as a […]

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BOOK ALERT: Xocomil, The Winds of Atitlán

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A novel by David Mohrmann. “Xocomil” (show-coh-MEEL) spans what most historians term the Guatemalan Civil War. That, unfortunately, does not begin to describe how it was experienced by the oppressed indigenous Mayas. The novel begins and ends at Lake Atitlán. It travels from traditional Mayan villages through the war-torn mountains of Guatemala; from cornfields in Kansas through the jungles of […]

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RAMÓN ÁVILA Art Exhibition, La Antigua Guatemala

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Master artist Ramón Ávila is a prolific painter, engraver, draftsman and sculptor who has maintained his momentum throughout the 52 years he has been living in Guatemala and influencing others with his work. The references that analyze his legacy outline its importance. They are many, and they have been made by distinguished analysts and critics. Hence each exhibit, whether of […]

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Crafting Clay Pottery in Tutuapa, Guatemala

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Food tastes better when it is cooked in a clay pot, everyone agrees. While today enamel and aluminum cookware is found in most kitchens, many cooks still have a clay pot or two for their special dish. Before synthetic materials were available, clay pots, in many shapes and sizes, were the only option. Pottery has a long tradition in Guatemala, […]

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The Festival of Santo Tomás in Chichicastenango, Guatemala

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  It was Sunday, Dec. 21, as I headed out for yet another adventure to the magical Mayan village of Chichicastenango set in the western Highlands of Guatemala. On Thursdays and Sundays, the native K’iche’ Maya turn this remote mountain village into one of the world’s most famous markets. Today, however, was particularly special because it was the culmination of […]

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Nativity Scenes / Nacimientos in Guatemala

Baby Jesus from a nativity scene, photo by Juan José Yas c.1915 (CIRMA)

Nativity scenes have been a tradition in Guatemala for centuries, much before Santa Claus and Christmas trees arrived. They were originally based on the descriptions found in the Gospel of Luke. St. Francis of Assisi received special permission from Pope Honorius III to make the first nativity scene with figures of Joseph and the Virgin Mary in 1223 with the […]

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The Art of Edgar Chipix, Exhibition in La Antigua, Guatemala

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Dreams and Visions – Sueños y Visiones. profile by Kerstin Sabene  photos: Alex Jones. It was a magnificent morning in July when I first met Edgar Nehemías Chipix Coc. We were hiking up to his “point of inspiration” in Santiago Zamora, a quiet Mayan-Kaqchikel village situated within the municipality of Sacatepéquez about 15 kilometers west of La Antigua Guatemala. It […]

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HANDEL’S MESSIAH in Guatemala City and La Antigua

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This year marks the 12th consecutive presentation of Handel’s Messiah in Guatemala, presented by Betty Whitbeck, executive producer, and the Community Choir of Guatemala. The first performance will be Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the National Theater in Guatemala City. Tickets are Q300 for platea, Q125 for Balcon l and Q60 for Balcón II. The performance moves to […]

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BOOK ALERT Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

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Their Stories, Their Lives. by Deborah Chandler and Teresa Cordon, photography Joe Coca. And what stories. What lives. Twenty weavers, dyers, spinners and basketmakers, between the ages of 33 and 89. In each of their lives, adversity was not only survived, but overcome, to produce beauty reflecting the traditions of the Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil, K’iche’, Ladino, Ixil, Q’eqchi, Poqomchi’ and Achi of Guatemala. […]

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BOOK ALERT Historias Culinarias de La Antigua Guatemala

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“All the books I’ve created have been something special and an important part of my life. Historias Culinarias de La Antigua Guatemala is my 20th book, and I believe that we absolutely accomplished our goal, to capture the heart and soul of everyday chefs and establishments in La Antigua Guatemala.”    —Ricky López Bruni Editor Ricky López Bruni Fotógrafos Ricky […]

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La Antigua Guatemala — A Step Back in Time

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Guatemala Insight by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. Old drawings and photographs of La Antigua Guatemala have always fascinated me. They take me back in time to when Antigua truly seemed almost abandoned. We know very few people stayed after the official move of the capital to Guatemala City in 1773. While we have some historical records from the 1800s and few drawings by […]

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Susana Asensio, The New Mayor of La Antigua Guatemala

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by Julie López. If architect Susana Asensio embodies anything, it’s perseverance. Her bid for mayor’s office in the Sept. 6 elections was her fourth attempt to reach La Antigua Guatemala’s mayor’s office, a post she will hold from Jan. 14, 2016 through January 2020. This time around, she ran with a “comité cívico” (a local civic committee) that gathered community […]

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Cemeteries in Guatemala

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GUATEMALA INSIGHT. by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. Guatemala honors all of the dead on All Saint’s Day (Nov. 1) and holds services on the Day of the Dead (Nov. 2) How cultures honor and bury their dead has been of great intrigue for millennia. While the ancient Maya buried their deceased under their houses or temples, the Spanish brought other traditions with […]

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Swirls Of Colors in Guatemala

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Sensuous Guatemala by Ken Veronda. During election time in Guatemala political parties display their colors and logos big and small, with supporters dressed in party T-shirts (playeras), waving posters and signs with party designs. Red, white, blue and green compete in this month’s run-offs after 15 other presidential candidates and scores of local office-seekers were eliminated, but their logos and […]

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Ixcanul Volcano

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FILM RELEASE by Matt Bokor. This film has already made history by becoming Guatemala’s first Academy Award submission (foreign language category). Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano attracts a steady stream of adventure seekers eager to climb its slopes, but the smoke-belching mountain plays a new role as the backdrop for the new, critically acclaimed film “Ixcanul Volcano.” The winner of prestigious film […]

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Romantic Comedy filmed in La Antigua Guatemala

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HUNTING PARTY Close up and in focus with filmmaker Chris Kummerfeldt Quiroa by Bessie Byrne. For Kummerfeldt, hunting is an important part of finding purpose and meaning. But it can also be seen as the everyday process of living. “We’re all hunting for something,” he says, “and this process is very spiritual.” After five years of planning, one month of filming […]

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Art Exhibit Inauguration: Mario Permuth at Galería Panza Verde, Antigua Guatemala

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If you missed the inauguration of Mario Permuth’s new art exhibit “Tradition & Experiment” — here are some photo highlights. You can still check out the exhibit, traditional and three-dimensional digital photography, through Sept. 30 at the Galería Panza Verde in Antigua (tel: 7955-8282, 5a av sur #19). Photos by Lizzie Ross, fb.com/emartphotography

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DAILY DATEBOOK: Sept. 9, 2015 in Antigua Guatemala

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INAUGURATION OF ART EXHIBITION by Mario Permuth. Wed. Sept. 9 from 5pm to 7pm. PHOTOGRAPHY. Inauguration cocktail, Tradition & Experiment, featuring traditional and three-dimensional digital photography by Mario Permuth. The show will be open through Sept. 30. Mesón Panza Verde (tel: 7955-8282), 5a av sur #19, La Antigua

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Artist Profile: Julio Molina, Guatemala

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La Otra Dimensión: Art in Wood. by Matt Bokor.  While many artists create images using oil or acrylic paints, Julio Molina arranges strips of wood to form his unique works. Using wood exclusively as his medium since 2008, the Guatemalan artist first started using wood some 30 years ago and to this day still sees charm in every piece, even scraps […]

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Panajachel Feria (Fair), October in Guatemala

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by Ana Flinder photos: Vicoria Stone.  Panajachel’s patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi, is honored in October with a combination of town fair, cultural dances, religous ceremonies, pyrotechnics and parades Next month brings another great opportunity to experience Guatemalan culture and festivity in a way that is very easy on the visitor, especially with the spectacular backdrop of Lake Atitlán. […]

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Guatemalan Spanish Book Alert

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New book helps foreigners learn the nuances of Guatemalan Spanish. Do you remember the first time you visited Guatemala? Even if you had just a basic knowledge of Spanish, you may have felt overwhelmed—especially when bombarded with all the words, phrases and sayings typical of Guatemalan Spanish. If so, a new book offers practical help. “Guatemalan Spanish: Speak like a […]

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Independence Day Celebrations in Guatemala

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by Ken Veronda. Any good excuse is a good time for celebration, of course, but September holds a special one: Independence Day on the 15th, but the sounds, smells, tastes and sights are to be enjoyed all month. There are rich colors to see in this rainy season, with landscape lush; sweet tastes to enjoy, of fresh fruit and mellow […]

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La Ceiba Tree of Guatemala

photo by [nelo] Mijangos : www.nelomh.com
Ceiba near San Lucas Samox, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Guatemala Insight — by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. With the celebration of Independence Day on Sept. 15, national symbols, which include the ceiba tree, come to our attention. The ceiba was declared the national tree of Guatemala in 1955 at the request of the botanist Ulises Rojas. This was, in part, because of its importance to the Maya. Today ceiba trees are protected […]

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Touched by Color in Antigua Guatemala

photo: Jorge Javier Barrios

Guatemala Insight by Elizabeth Bell. With the passing of Laura Mora (1923-2015), famed paintings and mural paintings conservator who taught us about the importance of the history of colors at ICCROM (International Centre for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments) in Rome, it brings to life again the importance of exceptional professors and mentors who move us to a new […]

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Tips for enjoying Semana Santa

Procession, Semana Santa photos by Leonel -Nelo- Mijangos (nelo.ws)

Lent and Holy Week celebrations in La Antigua Guatemala can be a bit overwhelming at best. Over the years, I have learned some great tips to enjoy the more than 50 activities during this time of year. Some of them are: Plan ahead and allow plenty of time. Know the times and locations of the velaciones and processions. City Hall […]

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It Does Take a Village

Project manager greeting workers at site of water distribution tank.

Building a community at the grassroots level.  text / photos by Kerstin Sabene.  Implementing change, even when it’s meant to reduce health and social disparity, can be challenging. No one understands this better than Ignacio Ochoa, director of the Nahual Foundation, a think tank by and for indigenous people of the Americas, based in La Antigua Guatemala. Ochoa, who has […]

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