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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Artist Profile: Carlotta Boettcher

URBAN PORTRAITS “San Francisco 70s: Urban Portraits” will open on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. at Galería Panza Verde, 5a avenida sur #19, Antigua. The artist will attend the opening. Carlotta Boettcher’s book of the same title, featuring 103 digitally repaired images, will be available in Antigua in the early spring. Carlotta Boettcher’s photo exhibition, “San Francisco 70s: Urban Portraits,” […]

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Guatemalans Helping Guatemalans

by Elizabeth Bell. Juan Pablo Romero is one of the 10 CNN Heroes who were selected from 150,000 candidates nominated worldwide. He started Los Patojos (The Kids) in his household garage in Jocotenango with three kids and is now a globally recognized hero! Los Patojos was created to promote hope, dignity, trust and a dialog for Jocotenango’s youth. As Juan […]

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Guatemala’s Most Famous Nun

Sor Juana de Maldonado y Paz by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian Guatemala’s most famous nun is Sor Juana de Maldonado y Paz (1598-1668), who lived at the Convento of La Concepción (La Antigua Guatemala). Ironically, very little “real” information is known about her although there is quite a bit written about her. We find her mentioned in the English Dominican Friar Thomas […]

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La Chapetona — Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

by Kerstin Sabene, photos by Kerstin Sabene and Mercedes Mejicanos. It was Sunday, Dec. 8 in La Antigua Guatemala, a magical day I would not soon forget. Friends and I had boarded a brightly colored chicken bus that was headed a few kilometers southwest along the Escuintla road to the neighboring town of Ciudad Vieja, literally Old City. I have […]

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Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life in Guatemala

text and photos by Kerstin Sabene. I wasn’t sure what to expect as we headed out to visit the cemetery in Sumpango on Día de los Muertos. Nov. 1 and 2 is a sacred time in Guatemala when families throughout the country gather at cemeteries to honor their loved ones. As I would soon discover, the ritual is as touching […]

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