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

Hunting Party

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

Dance of the Conquest

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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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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A Kaleidoscope of Color and Tradition

All Saints Day, Nov. 1.  text and photos by Kerstin Sabene. I returned to La Antigua Guatemala last October because I so enjoy living among the ancient ruins and architecture that give this city its stunning colonial atmosphere. I especially love the Guatemalan people and their many sacred traditions and was excited to experience for the first time the colorful […]

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Adopte un Kilómetro!

by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. At the end of a year in the late 1990s La Antigua Guatemala was full of street trash and potholes, and many of us complained to the mayor. Victor Hugo del Pozo kindly advised that the city had no funds. We sent a “spy” over to the treasury to, indeed, find that the meager budget in those […]

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New U.S. Ambassador isn’t new to Guatemala

by Matt Bokor. A familiar face is returning to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City. This time, Todd D. Robinson will carry the title of Ambassador. Robinson, a career diplomat with extensive experience in Latin America, served as deputy chief of mission in Guatemala City from 2009 to 2011. President Barack Obama nominated Robinson in June to succeed former Ambassador […]

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Murals in Homage to 13 Baktun

San Juan La Laguna    by Francisco Sandoval. The Tz’tujil town of San Juan La Laguna is located on the southwest bay of Lake Atitlán. It sits against the foothills of the Rostro Maya, a sacred mountain summit that is reminiscent of a Mayan face gazing skyward. Known for its authenticity and tranquility, now there is something else that sets […]

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Carlos Argüello

Visualizing a Digital Future for Latin America PROFILE by Linda Conard. Carlos Argüello—the Oscar-nominated mastermind behind unforgettable visual effects in Hollywood blockbusters like “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Batman and Robin,” “The Devil’s Advocate,” “The Mummy” and “Armageddon,” and groundbreaking music videos for artists like Michael Jackson and David Byrne—has created never-imagined new worlds on the silver screen. Now he’s using […]

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The Flag(s) of Guatemala

  by Elizabeth Bell. Guatemala’s current flag has flown over the skies of Guatemala since Aug. 17, 1871, although independence from Spain was signed on Sept. 15, 1821. Colonial banners and flags were quite popular before independence and usually incorporated a red and yellow color combination similar to the Spanish flag. In 1822, the Mexican flag flew in Guatemala during […]

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Francisco Marroquín: Guatemala’s first bishop and linguist

by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. Francisco Marroquín (1499-1563) was the first bishop of Guatemala and the country’s first linguist. Born near Santander, Spain, he studied philosophy and theology and was a professor at the University of Osma. He became a Dominican priest and was at the Spanish royal court where conqueror Pedro de Alvarado met him in 1528 and persuaded him to […]

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Ramón Ávila: Abstractions from Within

ARTIST PROFILE by Linda Conard  photos: Murphy Byrne. When you step into an exhibit of Ramón Ávila’s paintings, you are surrounded by color, emotion and intensity. Many of his oils suggest organic elements, such as earthy roots, plant fibers and even internal organs, in forms that are progressive and reaching, complex and tangled. In other works, distinct lines and robust […]

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Bodacious Buses!

text/photos by Capt. Thor Janson Several years ago a well-known Guatemalan photographer was leafing through one of my books and commented on the many images. Rolando especially liked my photos of the quetzal and the orchids, but when he came to the section that featured ramshackle, rural buses, he asked, “Why would you fill your book with beautiful images of Guatemala […]

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Maya Princesses

Rabin Ajau: The paramount indigenous cultural event of the Mayan world text/photos by Capt. Thor Janson — navigator / explorer (facebook.com/nubliselva) — Candaleria Coquix grew up in the little settlement of Cantón Zapotál, part of the Municipality of San Lucas Tolimán in the Department of Sololá. Just a stone’s throw from a little bay on the southern shore of Lake Atitlán, Zapotal […]

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