Nazarenos de Guatemala

Cover from Nazarenos de Guatemala by José Carlos Flores

written by José Carlos Flores L. This beautifully-crafted collector’s book features a 180 page, full-color photographic collection of Guatemalan figures of Jesus Christ. Measuring 13×13, it is cloth bound and printed in Guatemala City by Print Studio. “This book attempts through the various photographs to carry our faith to the hearts of Guatemalans who live here as well as those […]

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Culture Unshocked: Toys and Play

Trees and friends, that is all you need (photo: Victoria Stone)

written by Ana Flinder Not long ago, while perusing the endless tables piled high with used North American clothes at the Saturday paca market in La Antigua, I found a little T-shirt that caught my eye. It was about the right size for a 5 year old, and on it read “I want it— You buy it for me— Got […]

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Culture Unshocked

Girl with knife (photo: Victoria Stone)

Written by Ana Flinder Culture shock is a strange phenomenon which most of us have experienced in one way or another. For those of us who travel outside of our own countries infrequently, arrival in a new and foreign culture can be absolutely overwhelming; every moment is filled with so many new sights and sounds, and new customs that we […]

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Pat Crocker, Artist and Architect

Cobaneras by Pat Crocker

If you lived in La Antigua Guatemala after World War II and before 1972 you would have known Pat Crocker for his work in the restoration of colonial houses and for his exquisite watercolor paintings of Indian costume. Frederick Siddartha Crocker Junior, or as he would sometimes introduce himself “Frederick, ‘The Enlightened One,’Crocker,” was born in Folsom, West Virginia, in […]

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The Riecken Foundation

A new book club in Chiché, El Quiché

The Riecken Foundation establishes and supports community libraries in Guatemala and Honduras. The network of 11 community libraries in Guatemala provides dynamic programming for people of all ages and free access to information resources, including Internet, reading programs, youth clubs, technical workshops and cultural events. Mission: To promote democracy and prosperity in Central America through community libraries that spark a […]

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Guatemala’s Unique Chachales

Red beads have long held a certain fascination not just here but around the world.

A second word is chachal, Quiché for necklace. The evolution of chachales in Guatemala is a fascinating tale of history, economics and anthropology. At the time of the Conquest, Guatemala’s indigenous prized red coral as component in necklaces. As easily recoverable near-shore coral became scarce, sharp traders, chiefly in Europe, manufactured substitutes and introduced them into Guatemala as trade goods. These were almost but not always red, apparently to satisfy taste here and elsewhere.

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Supportive Circus Troupe

Lara Paxton’s Aerial Army of Love puts on a special show for some children of Safe Passage

Text and photos by Brooks Vanderbrush Throughout the ages, the circus has provided a happy escape for millions of people of all ages and walks of life. Whether a traditional three-ring show under the big top or a small, specialized act featuring a few extremely talented performers, the circus always manages to bring hushed awes, smiles and occasional gasps to its […]

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Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope has drilled several water wells in the mountains near Jalapa

Wells of Hope is a non-denominational group founded on Christian principles by Ted Vander Zalm and his wife Miriam in 2004. It is a team of numerous individuals with roots in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. Wells of Hope is a program or offshoot of The Warehouse of Hope. After working from tents for a couple of years, Wells of […]

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Orchids: The colors of my land

by Bernd Martin Colors enhance our emotions and often warm our hearts with their beauty. Coming in an array of wonderful colors, orchids embrace the whole spectrum of the rainbow. An orchid is a special gift to ourselves and to others. Guatemala, the land of eternal spring, has approximately 1,000 species of orchids. Nearly everybody in Guatemala cultivates orchids in […]

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The Eyes of Violeta

Violeta Marroquín at exhibition

Inauguration Wednesday, 4th-7:30pm; featuring paintings on silk by Violeta Marroquín at the Antigua Center, 7a calle poniente #11, La Antigua Guatemala Violeta Marroquín, born in 1976 in Guatemala City, started painting at an early age. As a child she was educated in the arts, but at the university level she chose to study communications. In November 2002, Violeta moved to […]

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Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala

The Mayan Center, a residential high school being built on a mountaintop in the rainforest of northwest Guatemala, will serve two dozen villages.

Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala partners with Mayan villages in the remote northwest corner of the country, where there are virtually no public services, secondary schools or other aid organizations providing consistent support. At the urging of village leaders, AAV focuses primarily on orphans and the children of widows who have few resources to support their families. Mission: To empower the Mayan […]

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Mystery at Tak’alik Ab’aj

The proud team of excavators of the Tak’alik Ab’aj National Project who discovered Monuments 215 (in front) and 217

“Standing Stones” site yields unprecedented sculpture Archaeologists recently discovered ancient altars, monuments and an unprecedented stone sculpture at a 2.5-square-mile Mayan ruin near Retalhuleu in southwestern Guatemala. Representing both Olmec and Maya cultures, the Tak’alik Ab’aj (Standing Stones) site was inhabited for nearly 1,700 years, starting roughly in 1000 BC, and was a key trading center with ancient merchants traveling […]

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ISTMO

“ISTMO” Featuring unique views of Central America

With stunning aerials by internationally acclaimed photographer Ange Bourda, a new book featuring unique views of Central American sights, including volcanoes, beaches and rainforests, will debut in Guatemala in January 2009. Titled ISTMO (Isthmus), the colorful hardcover book contains 160 remarkable photos by Bourda, a widely published French photographer who considers Guatemala his adoptive home. In his own words, the […]

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Nacimientos (Nativity Scenes)

Nacimiento (photo: César Tián/Revue)

While Santa Claus and Christmas trees may be symbols of the Christmas season, nacimientos (nativity scenes) are a Christmas custom the world over. Saint Francis of Assisi built the first one in 1223 after returning from a trip to Bethlehem. It quickly became a tradition and spread throughout the Catholic world, which included Spain. The Spanish brought the custom to […]

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Christmas Music from Renaissance Antigua

Christmas Music from Renaissance Antigua

Written by Dieter Lehnhoff, Ph.D. From the Renaissance to the late Baroque era (1534-1773) Santiago de Guatemala—present-day La Antigua Guatemala—was proud of its intense music life, rivaled only by Lima, Mexico City, and probably Bogotá. Beginning in 1524, early clergy had introduced Gregorian chant and choral polyphony for the different liturgical celebrations of the year, held in the first parish […]

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Another Fabulous Fruit: Carambola

Another Fabulous Fruit: Carambola

For two decades the exotic carambola only appeared in the U.S. as a component of holiday fruit baskets. These days you’ll find them in all the better Stateside grocery stores. Also known as star fruit because of its shape when sliced crosswise, this oddity once grew only in Sri Lanka and the Moluccas. Perhaps a millennium ago it was transplanted […]

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NGO Networking

The Network is the brainchild of Judy Sadlier and Gene Budinger

Written by by John Barrie How the Antigua Network helps connect organizations productively through presentations and one-on-one contacts Another successful meeting of the Antigua Network was held recently in the spacious surroundings of La Peña del Sol Latino in downtown La Antigua Guatemala. The Network is the brainchild of Judy Sadlier and Gene Budinger, two active U.S. retirees who came […]

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Preserving Traditions

Accessories from the Stained Glass Collection, created by association members

Written by Amanda Flayer Cojolya Association celebrates 25 years supporting women weavers in Santiago Atitlán Santiago Atitlán, a bustling indigenous village in the Guatemalan Highlands, has been celebrated by locals and tourists alike for its preservation of backstrap-loom weaving and the traditions surrounding it. An ancient art, backstrap loom weaving is recorded in the artifacts of the Maya. The Goddess […]

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A Smile Goes A Long Way

Dental extraction aided by light from flashlight

Written by Malia Dewse photos: Nate Gerodias and Malia Dewse The Emergency Dental Project is in its fourth year and going strong The impact of small voluntary projects, driven by one or two people with a passion for what they are doing, cannot be underestimated. One such project has provided free written dental examinations, fluoride treatment and emergency extractions to […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Yellow

Yellow corn (photo Harris & Goller/viaventure.com)

Butter yellow. Flowers in the fields after the rains, corn ground to a smooth masa, cotton-dyed yellow to weave into blouses with multicolored designs on the yellow base, rich yellow bougainvillea and shrimp flowers spilling over white walls, and an occasional flash of a finch flying after a bug for lunch. Yellow is important on the Guatemalan palette. Yellow may […]

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Wages vs Self-Employed

The IRS and U.S. foreign nationals living and working abroad Just because you are a U.S. citizens living and working abroad does not mean that you don’t have to report your yearly earnings to the IRS. However, if you pass two tests and qualify for the “foreign earned income exclusion,” you don’t owe any tax unless you made more than […]

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Another Fabulous Fruit: Anona

Anona is also known as sugar apple.

Known variously as the sugar apple, soursop and cherimoya, this fruit grows in so many regions and varieties that information on it is contradictory. Most sources say there about 2,000 species, all high in carbohydrates, potassium, phosphorous and calcium. The local variety contains a white, custard-like pulp and clusters of dark seeds. The flavor is difficult to describe, but people […]

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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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Humble Beginnings

Large San Jerónimo plaza; kitchen chimney peeks over back wall (photo by Jack Houston)

The Story of the Ruins of San Jerónimo The spacious, bright and well-kept flowered lawn of the San Jerónimo ruins at the north end of Alameda Santa Lucía welcomes visitors to the site of a school that functioned barely four years and closed with five students. In Colonial Architecture of Antigua, Sidney Markman wrote, “Very little remains of the school […]

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Another Fabulous Fruit: Green Mango

Green Mango

Scholars believe Buddhist monks took mangoes on voyages from Asia to Persia in the Fourth and Fifth centuries B.C., and that the Persians subsequently took them to Africa in the 10th century. From there the Portuguese introduced them to Brazil during its 16th century colonization of the New World. And from Brazil the mango spread to Central America. Although there […]

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Humane Society International Grant to Support Wildlife Habitat Protection Work in Central America

WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2008) – Humane Society International (HSI) signed a grant with the U.S. Department of State last week for $396,000 to continue work on wildlife habitat protection in Central America. The grant will support the production of sustainable cacao, which is grown on small farms that also provide valuable wildlife habitat for animals such as woodpeckers, sloths, and […]

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La Profecía Maya 2012

Ballet Folklórico dancers perform a dance of symbolic rebirth (photo: Georgeann Johnson)

Written by Elizabeth Hart – photos: Georgeann Johnson It may be difficult to find friends and family outside of Guatemala who know much about the Mayan calendar. But here, the calendar—and especially the significance of its end date in 2012—are regular topics of conversation, as Guatemala’s ancient history was likely a part of the original intrigue for many of us. […]

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Birthday Parties

Birthday cake face (photo: Dwight Wayne Coop)

My sons are still in their cavity-prone years, so I attended 19 birthday parties last year—three for my boys and 16 for their playmates. Each had its odd turn or twist. To avoid the charge of ethnocentrism, I’ll admit here that Central Americans do no worse a job of honoring their birthday boys and girls than do parents in the […]

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