What is your favorite fiesta this month?

The Dance of the 24 Devils, dedicated to the Virgen de Concepción

The celebration of La Concepción in Ciudad Vieja, near La Antigua Guatemala, is incredible! Everyone enjoys beginning the Christmas cycle by “burning the devil” on Dec. 7. Many will gather at La Concepción in Antigua at 6 p.m. to burn an effigy of the devil enhanced with a sign notating local gossip. After the reading of his “will,” the image […]

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Messengers in the Wind

Kids flying kites  (photo: Iván Castro/ivancastroguatemala.com)

Written by Ignacio Ochoa The history of kite making in Santiago Sacatepéquez On November 1 and 2, a powerful force stirs in all the towns of Guatemala. Traditional markets are filled with flowers of sempa (orange marigolds), chrysanthemums, wild daisies and the smell of copal—a pre-Columbian incense made from pine resin. People clean family graves and adorn them with cut-out […]

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50 Years of Divine Comedy in Guatemala

One summer in my adolescence, I went to the library and checked out Dante Alighieri’s voyage to the other side of the world, a trip that preceded that of Columbus by nearly two centuries. It was Dante’s imagination, rather than prevailing winds, that took him (and me) there. The trip, whose itinerary included Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, was a long […]

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Heart of the Forest

Corazón del Bosque (Heart of the Forest)

Showcases Mushrooms and Temescales If snack wrappers blemishing the Guatemalan countryside dishearten you, take heart. There are places you can go where litter is not only unseen, its demise is being plotted. They are snapshots of Guatemala’s glory before the modern container revolution. And, primero Dios, they are foretastes of the coming restoration of that glory. The revolution in question […]

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Juan Matalbatz a.k.a. Aj Pop’o Batz

written by Bob Makransky The only instance, in the entire Spanish conquest of the Americas, when the local chieftain was permitted to retain the power of government. By the year 1543, after several unsuccessful military expeditions against the warlike Q’eqchi’ Indians, the Spanish conquerors were desperate. At the same time, it had become evident to the chieftain of chieftains of […]

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How well do you know Chapín Spanish?

(Ser) Pura lata:

I certainly didn’t expect to get a free lesson of what I call Chapiñol, it is maybe 50 percent Spanish and 50 percent Chapinismos. His name was Miguel and he started throwing phrases like: tengo un gran clavo or me echan el muerto. I simply replied yes and/or no, but in truth I had no idea what he was talking about, “I have a big nail” What ???

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Guatemala in 90 Hours

Lake Atitlán

Turning a short visit into a long-lasting memory Volcanoes. Lakes. Archeology and architecture. History and culture. Ziplines. Coffee plantations. UNESCO World Heritage sites. Plus, of course, shopping. Guatemala has all these attractions for tourism. But what about the tourist who has only a few days and less than $300? Yes, with planning and time management, that tourist can have a […]

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Oliver Thornwhistle On Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea Sampler (photo Rudy Girón/AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com)

written by S.C. Johnson Sometime, before my time, I believe it was in the 1930s when minds were preoccupied with the Great Depression, everybody had to have a national or a state flower. Now mostly, nobody even knows what they are. I was at a British pub quiz night recently and our Swedish team member had no idea what the […]

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A Walking Tour of “Old” Panajachel

Panajachel is firstly a walking city. If you drive in it, you soon tire of the paucity of two-way streets. And every rocky contour of those streets registers on the pant-seat of every chicken-bus rider. Tuktuks look fun, until you actually ride in one. And much of Pana is not overly bike-friendly. So, unless pogo sticks catch on, feet remain the preferred vehicle.

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First Vintage

Chateau DeFay

A rewarding excursion to Guatemala’s first winery to produce wine from locally-grown grapes since colonial times text and photos by Ira Lewis Hidden behind a coffee finca on the lower slopes of volcano El Agua is the first winery to produce wine from Guatemalan-grown grapes since colonial times: Chateau DeFay. Jacques and Angie DeFay recently presented their first vintage after […]

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Festival Atitlán

The Festival Atitlán returns for its 9th year, once again celebrating springtime with music, dance, theatre, graphic art displays and workshops, plus a great kid section, and a promise of a beautiful day with family and friends outdoors on the shores of Lake Atitlán. As is the custom, the proceeds are donated to a local good works project. In the […]

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Guatemala Holiday Calendar

All year he hides under the bed or in the junk piled up in the corner, casting misfortune or worse on helpless mortals. But on Monday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. sharp, the devil gets his comeuppance, as he is tossed out of the house along with the trash and set ablaze in the Quema del Diablo (Burning the Devil), a tradition in many Guatemalan towns that literally sparks the beginning of the Christmas season. —Juan Carlos Ordóñez

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Cervical Cancer: A killer in the developing world

by Sue Patterson and Laurel White Last May, Emma, a 35-year-old mother of nine, passed away from cervical cancer, now considered a sexually-transmitted disease. Her premature death was a terrible and preventable tragedy. After hearing a radio announcement about a WINGS-sponsored screening in Chimaltenango, she came for her first such screening two years ago, but the test revealed Emma had […]

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The Guatemalan Hospitality Bug Bites All

In Guatemala, it is easier to “just drop in” on your friends than it would be in Minneapolis or Melbourne. One reason, I think (write me if you disagree) is that until the end of the previous century telephone calls were something you rarely tried at home. That was when Italy’s telecommunications monopoly brought Gua-temala’s system into the 20th and […]

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Cloud Nine: The Tzantizotz Nature Reserve, Guatemala

The swirling mist dusts Volcán San Pedro in a muted dove gray, catching dawn’s sunrays and washing it in an ethereal glow. The steely-mirrored waters of Lake Atitlán are quiet, rippled only by the wake of a distant boat that slides across its surface. The air is still, cool and refreshing. This awe-inspiring view is the reason that Lake Atitlán is undisputedly one of the world’s most beautiful lakes. It is here, in the moment and in the quiet that one can touch the magnificence of God’s creation.

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Growing the Industry

photos by Laura McNamara A Guatemalan film crew shares a universal story to highlight their country’s unique virtues in filmmaking. This is a movie crew with a vision: Cru Código wants to train the spotlight on Guatemala, demonstrating to the international community that the “Country of Contrasts” is both a desirable and capable location for high-quality, professional filmmaking. “We are […]

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A Honey of a Business

by Judith Cohen An expert’s view on how honey and bees are faring in Guatemala Alejandro Nicol is an expert in the honey business. After studying beekeeping for two years at Ohio State University, he now advises the Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación (MAGA) on the care, feeding, export, import and preservation of bees. I met him at the […]

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Golf Tournament; Antigua Grudge Match

First place team: (l-r) Hugo Cerezo, John Chudy, Diego Cerezo, Nathan Liskey

Last month included the first annual Antigua Invitational Golf Tournament. Played at the spectacular Mayan Golf Club overlooking Lake Amatitlán, the format was “scramble” with four-person teams. The competition was fierce but the lunch gathering afterwards was amiable with prizes for longest drives, closest to the pin, and of course for the lowest scoring team who posted a 65. If […]

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The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan is considered to be the first map of Guatemala

Click this Link… http://revuemag.com/go/FirstMapGuatemala/ The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan is considered to be the first map of Guatemala. It is also the only firsthand indigenous account of the conquest of Guatemala and one of the few sources to record the military campaigns of Jorge de Alvarado in 1527–1530. The Lienzo was a forgotten relic that had not yet been deciphered when […]

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