Education First

A Safe Passage for Children in Guatemala City’s Basurero Neigborhood by Benjamin Reeves Guatemala City’s zona 3 includes the basurero, the city’s dump. Though there is no official census, an estimated 7,000 people, which according to local residents includes approximately 1,000 children, work in the basurero picking through trash to find plastic and metal that can be sold to recyclers. […]

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Leslie Nanne

Art Exposition at Museo Ixchel showcases Guatemalan artist’s book illustrations When Leslie Nanne first decided back in high school that she wanted to be an illustrator, she admits having a few concerns: “I was afraid of becoming a starving artist,” she says. “But I was even more afraid of choosing a ‘safer’ profession and always wondering whether I could have […]

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Follow Your HEART

Aortic Valve Replacement in Guatemala City Text/Photos by Lori Shea Sit quietly, breathe deeply, meditate inward, and appreciate the rhythm of your heartbeat. The thumping sound you hear is the mitral and aortic valves of your heart opening and closing to allow your blood to flow like a river of healing energy. Every day, the heart pumps about 2,000 gallons, […]

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Tecún Umán Monument

Tecún Umán Monument (photo by Johannes Blijdenstein)

Heralded as Guatemala’s national hero, Tecún Umán is a symbol of indigenous resistance, a legendary figure of Kaqchikel history who led his people into battle against the Spanish conquest of the Guatemalan Highlands in 1524 and refused to surrender. Remembered for his bravery and dignity—fighting to protect his land and encouraging his people to do the same—he was defeated by […]

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A Museum for Kids

Supervised exhibits include paper making, recycling, giant bubbles and even a micro city.

El Museo de los Niños, Zone 13, Guatemala City If the motto of most museums seems to be: “Look but don’t touch,” el Museo de los Niños in Guatemala City is the other extreme. Located in Zone 13, the center opened in February 2000 and has since welcomed more than 1.5 million schoolchildren from all over Guatemala. Through an assortment […]

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Fotokids Anniversary

Fotokis 20th Anniversary

Twenty years of tackling poverty through photography Surrounded by 40 acres of toxic garbage, in the middle of Central America’s largest and most dangerous landfill, isn’t exactly where most people gain inspiration. However, for ex-Reuters photojournalist Nancy McGirr, the smell of burning plastic, combined with the sight of cardboard houses and gardens of sewage, is where Fotokids first began. Originally […]

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Safe Passage

One volunteer’s overwhelming experience serving in the city dump photo by Joseph del Conzo

One volunteer’s overwhelming experience serving in the city dump written by Hannah Wallace Bowman Every day at 7:15 a.m., a bleary-eyed group of Westerners gathers on the pavement outside La Antigua Guatemala’s San Francisco Church. Clutching banana bread and paper cups of steaming coffee, they soak up the early morning sun. Preparing to make their way into one of the […]

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Miguel Ángel Asturias

Miguel Ángel Asturias photo by Jacobo Blijdenstein

written by Anna-Claire Bevan photo by Jacobo Blijdenstein One hundred years after his birth, Guatemala honored the life of its exiled, Nobel Prize-winning poet, Miguel Ángel Asturias, by placing a statue of him on one of the main streets of its capital city. Made entirely of bronze, the full-body sculpture was the masterpiece of Max Leiva and celebrates the memory […]

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Up the Carretera a El Salvador in a Gullwing

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe

written by Eduardo Linares Batres More than a quarter of a century ago, a pal of mine lucked into acquiring a Mercedes-Benz classic, a used-but-babied 300SL “Gullwing.” To say that this is one of the all-time, absolute greatest cars ever made is, in my opinion, an understatement. When it was introduced around 1952-3, it was as an all-out race car […]

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Monument to Christopher Columbus

Monument to Christopher Columbus

text and photo by C. Ibarra In bygone days, Guatemala’s rulers presented distinctive landmarks to the capital city in praise of their own ideals: reform, modernism, development and patriotism. This has made the city an eclectic mixture of architectural styles and monuments. Among the most interesting and charismatic monuments in the city is the statue of Christopher Columbus. Its history […]

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Kilometer Zero at the National Palace, Guatemala

text and photos by Michael Sherer Set at the northern end of the enormous Plaza Mayor, Guatemala’s National Palace is the origin of all the roads in the Republic with a spot known as Kilómetro Cero. Two and half miles north of the gleaming chrome-and-glass towers that line the Avenida La Reforma, the edifice is flanked by the Biblioteca Nacional […]

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Tune In and Enjoy

Metropolitan Cathedral in the center of Guatemala City (photo: Jordan Banks)

First, find a comfortable bench right in the middle of things, in front of the old National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral in the center of Guatemala City. Close your eyes. Don’t look at the rich palette of colors around you. (Maybe it’s best to have dark glasses on, so passers-by don’t think you’re asleep.) Don’t sniff. Don’t breathe in the delicious odors of […]

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Guatemala City—The Young Capital

A late bloomer of Latin America written by David Jickling Among Latin American capitals, Guatemala City is a later comer. Most of the major cities of Spanish America were founded in the 16th century, within a hundred years after the arrival of the Spanish. In contrast, Guatemala City was established at the end of the 18th century after the destruction […]

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A Journey through Sweet Waters

Río Dulce, Guatemala (photo: Scott Drennan)

Written by Gregory Kipling photo: Scott Drennan Exploring Río Dulce Past and Present Measuring a mere 42 kilometers from source to mouth, Río Dulce is hardly one of Central America’s great waterways. However, despite its small size the river has attracted a great deal of attention over the past 500 years. Conquistadors, scientists, pirates and adventurers have all passed through […]

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Cooking With Class

Instructor Militza de León teaches a new menu every day with hands-on experience (photo: Jack Houston)

Written by Dianne Carofino Where the excuse “I ate my homework” actually works Outdoor dining at its best: under a 130-year-old avocado tree in the walled garden of a La Antigua colonial home. The menu? Traditional Guatemalan dishes: subanik—a four-meat stew with a spicy sauce of puréed roasted tomatoes and red peppers, white-dough tamal to soak up that rich sauce […]

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One More Time Tunnel: El Capitol

Predecessor of Edificio Capitol, right, circa 1930; the long gone former Cine Capitol is on the left, across the street. (photo: Sergio Cruz Arteaga)

Thirty years ago metropolitan Guatemala had fewer than half its current 3.6 million people. Today’s well-heeled suburbs in its southeast quadrant were separated from El Centro by receding pastures and gardens. Zone One had long gone to seed, but in the late 1970s an attempt to return it to respectability was launched on Downtown’s main drag, Sexta avenida, between calles […]

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The Time Tunnels of Zone One

Pasaje Aycinenea circa 1924

Read—or walk —your way through 22 minutes of time travel in Guatemala’s historic center The yen to envision a familiar place in an earlier era is universal. In the sixties, it found expression in the campy sci-fi serial The Time Tunnel, in which two scientists are sporked through historical crossings in which the supporting roles—from Alexander the Great onward—conveniently speak […]

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