Holy Week 2010, Antigua Main Processions — Semana Santa

March 28 — Palm Sunday, 11am: Procession of Jesús Nazareno from La Merced Church. March 29 — Holy Monday: Holy Vigil of Jesús Nazareno de La Merced, La Merced Church. March 30 — Holy Tuesday: Holy Vigil of Jesús Nazareno del Perdón, San Francisco El Grande Church. March 31 — Holy Wednesday: Holy Vigil of Señor Sepultado, Escuela de Cristo […]

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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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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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The Antigua Photography Club

Club Fotográfico de Antigua

The local community of photographers will officially introduce itself to La Antigua this month with its first 
collective exhibit. The sentiment is a common one and spills from the lips of most residents and visitors alike: walking the streets of the quintessentially colonial town of La Antigua is like walking through a living painting, an everlasting photograph. Thus, it is […]

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El Grinch Returns to the stage

El Grinch

“We are having so much fun!” bubbles Paloma Pérez-Templado, coordinator of this season’s production of El Grinch. Since April she has worked together with producer Johnny Long, Debora du Flon, director of scenery and costumes, and a team in charge of choreography, music and narration. Her expression changes dramatically as she leans forward and lowers her voice, confiding, “The Grinch […]

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Exploring a Hidden Gem in Guatemala

A visitor to the El Pilar garden specially designed for hummingbirds (Thor Janson)

El Pilar is a unique, natural habitat located just 3.5 km from La Antigua’s central park. A little-known natural sanctuary is located just outside of La Antigua Guatemala where pools are brimming with fresh, mountain spring water every day and where multi-colored hummingbirds buzz around in sporadic sprints by the dozens.

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The Guardians of Las Gravileas

A project where women serve their sisters The center’s name is symbolic. In a country where coffee represents approximately 10 percent of the gross domestic income, the gravilea tree provides a critical, protective canopy for the shade-loving plant. Just as the gravilea tree provides this fundamental necessity for the cultivation of coffee, so, too, is Las Gravileas meant to offer […]

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A Spoonful of Honey

Honey comb

2nd in a series by Judy Cohen The natural healing properties of honey cover a wide range of ailments, and more uses are still being discovered. Doña Gavi’s tienda, located on 3a avenida behind the cathedral in La Antigua Guatemala, carries all-natural products, including several types of honey. Her favorite is gravilea, which she buys from nearby farms. I learned […]

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On The Rocks

Giving up is simply not an option for La Antigua Guatemala’s Rock Climbing Club. Despite more than 18 months without receiving allotted funds, the club still climbs on. Before January 2008, the government largely supported the Climbing Association of Sacatepéquez (AANSAC). Now, club leader Felipe Álvarez says although the government’s Climbing Foundation is still responsible for supporting climbing clubs, these […]

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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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Health Care in Colonial Guatemala

Part III: University of San Carlos Medical School By the end of the 17th century, six hospitals had been founded in Guatemala. But, lacking scientific information and methods, hospitals provided little more than refuge or asylum. Sickness and cultural attitudes toward it were a social problem. In addition, the times were characterized by conflict between the king’s people and the […]

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Horses Have Rights

There is a forgotten population in Guatemala: the equine population. The Foundation for Equine Welfare in Guatemala, known as ESAP, reports that the Guatemalan government has not included more than 250,000 equines in the country’s census since 2003. For six years, horses, mules and donkeys have been forgotten by the government, and ESAP says that neglect is reflected within rural […]

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CD Release: Antigua All Stars

l-r: Klay, Wicho and Choko

A collective music project, featuring the diverse songs, sounds and melodies of La Antigua Guatemala, began recently through a serendipitous meeting of one of La Antigua’s much-loved musicians and an Australian engineer. Antonio Jueves, who recently returned to La Antigua from a year of festivals and tours in Europe, and Corrina Grace, who recently moved to La Antigua to start […]

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Not Just Another Flash in the Pan Pipe

Sol Latino Playing

text and photos by Michael Sherer Haunting sinuous melodies interwoven with cañas and Peruvian pan pipes, punctuated by a perfect blend of voices backed by guitars and 10-string charangos, peppered with conga drums and a professional quality home-made bass drum fill the green-and-white room at the La Peña de Sol Latino restaurant and bar five nights a week in La […]

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Postcards from the Park

text/photos by Melba Milak The city of La Antigua Guatemala is laid out in a simple grid: seven avenues running north and south and 10 streets going east and west. In the center of town is a park (Plaza Mayor), the heart and soul of the whole area. The atmosphere in the park is carefree and carnival-like. When visiting Antigua, […]

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Confessions of a Nocturnal Bibliophile

Five blocks south of el Parque Central in La Antigua, located at 4a avenida sur #2, sits a local treasure: the Steve Skelton Memorial Library, operated under the auspices of the local American Legion post. Behind the vivid blue stucco walls and through the black iron gates lies a reader’s dream, set in two overcrowded rooms stacked from floor to ceiling with over 30,000 volumes and the most unusual assortment of books in town.

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Artisty in Wood

Woodcarvers Oscar Geovani and Eduardo Reyes create an intricate headboard

text and photos by Ira Lewis Woodcarving in Guatemala Guatemala is fortunate to have a long, rich history of artisan/artists working in many media going back to pre-Colonial times. Most of the ancient sculpted art is seen as carved stone. However, some of the less-durable carvings in wood from this era still survive. We are fortunate that in this plastic, […]

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Healthcare in Colonial Guatemala

Ruin of inside wall of Hospital Real de Santiago, now within a private garden

written by Joy Houston photos: Jack Houston Part I: 16th Century What medical options were available centuries ago in Guatemala for wounds from enemy arrows, burns, natural disasters or epidemics? Mixing medicine with magic was routine in colonial days. “Medical science was slave to theory and superstition,” writes Carlos Martínez Durán in Las Ciencias Médicas en Guatemala. What was done […]

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Producing Potable Water

A step in the process: clay and pine sawdust are poured into molds

The EcoFiltro has won awards for sustainable technology, now there is a need to make many more of them written by Michael Sherer On the outskirts of La Antigua Guatemala, set back in a corner of the 22-acre, lushly planted Finca El Pintado, is the factory that churns out daily miracles: clay pots, crafted from the best deposits from Rabinal, […]

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La Gente Kuna

Sovereign Indigenous of Coastal Panamá Reception, slideshow, lecture Saturday, May 23, 7pm
El Sitio Cultural Center, La Antigua. The Kuna people of the Caribbean coast of Panama have one of the greatest degrees of political autonomy of any indigenous group in Latin America. Their success results from their remarkable tenacity and zealous efforts to preserve a traditional way of life. An […]

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Museo de Arte Guatemalteco Primitivo – Contemporáneo

text and photos by Dianne Carofino   Interested in Guatemala’s primitive art and artists but unable to search out the artists themselves? Try a one-block walk up 4a calle from La Antigua’s central park, to the Museo de Arte Guatemalteco Primitivo – Contemporáneo. With May 18 designated as the Day of Museums by the International Council of Museums, there can […]

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Museo de Santiago

Entry hall of the Museo de Santiago, a large bust of Pedro de Alvarado looks down on two 18th century howitzers; behind are six-gauge wall guns.

text and photos by Ira Lewis The Museo de Santiago de los Caballeros in La Antigua Guatemala is a must see. It’s among several museums and many churches and ruins in La Antigua, but most people miss it, even though it is located right on the fringe of Central Park. Although under-funded and in need of some upkeep, the museum […]

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