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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Roberto Luz

Festival performers: Naik Madera

Roberto Luz is a tall, enigmatic man with long, dark hair and the posture of the perpetually preoccupied: head bent slightly forward, eyes in the middle distance. In person he’s charming and informed, but when talking to him one cannot help but feel as if he’s simultaneously elsewhere, listening to a music the observer cannot hear. He may very well be.

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Painting the Future

Ayúdame a Pintar Mi Futuro teaches kids more than just art by Revue Staff In 2008 brothers José and Henry Méndez Chavajay, Maya Tz’utujil painters from San Pedro la Laguna, Lake Atitlán, found out that the children who were visiting their gallery—watching them paint and wanting to learn how themselves—were fatherless, and that their mothers were struggling to raise them […]

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Pueblo Hopping

Planning an overnight in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlán If you were hoping to go by car to Santa Cruz La Laguna, you will be disappointed. This quaint pueblo, separated into the lakeshore property and the Mayan village on higher ground, can only be accessed by boat. But don’t fret. This is what gives Santa Cruz its relatively untouched […]

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Transformations From Newsprint to Art

by Karin Bergstresser When you live in paradise, you have a responsibility to maintain a healthy ecosystem. U.S -born Kenneth Wood, who has lived in Guatemala for over two decades, makes his contribution to the environment by turning old newsprint into art. He collaborates with ADISA, an organization in Santiago Atitlán that offers employment to young adults with physical and/or […]

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The Bird-bound, Labyrinthine, “No Name Gardens” of Atitlán

Guatemala’s exquisite botanical colony plays push and shove with weed and water — and sometimes with people Everyone knows that cacti need little water. But in Guatemala’s most spectacular garden, the cacti are more watered than other plants. This is hardly the fault of the gardeners. They are not the ones doing the watering. This botanical garden abuts another Central […]

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Organic Living in Guatemala

Guatemala: a diverse country that produces a wide variety of agriculture. Visitors are delighted at the taste of a “real fruit” or the sweetness of local tomatoes. At our Lake Atitlán hotel some of our guests have even accused us of putting sugar into a smoothie because the fruit is so naturally sweet. Many are now paying attention to the […]

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An Urban Healing Oasis

The goal at the new Avesa Oasis Holistic Center is to remove stress, one layer at a time, by offering a plethora of services designed to help you find your inner OM. Kira Raa, the visionary founder of Avesa and Hotel TOSA La Laguna Spa and Retreat Center, Lake Atitlán, explains the goal of Avesa is simply to help you […]

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Trauma In Paradise

Written By Dr.Alejandro Paiz The waters of Lake Atitlán have a sedative force when you observe them, especially with the typical spectacular sunsets as a backdrop. Until recently, this was the only balm available for the poorest of the mentally ill in the Atitlán Basin. The beauty of the region hails from its unique topography, an irregularity that, while lovely, […]

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Keys to a Vibrant Life!

Vibrant running water (photo: Rudy Girón)

Optimum hydration is essential for good skin tone and a healthy metabolism. Water clears toxins from our bodies and carries nutrients to our cells. Water is a solvent and can carry both healthy and unhealthy substances. Municipal water systems worldwide provide water; however, is it healthy? Sadly, many are not. Most municipalities use chlorine to kill bacteria in the water, […]

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Lakeside San Marcos

Lakeside San Marcos, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

A simple yet captivating place overlooking Lake Atitlán, San Marcos attracts travelers from around the world to enjoy its tranquility and laid-back attitude. Visitors to this idyllic spot can spend time with the indigenous people of Guatemala, partake in craft making and traditional Mayan ceremonies and hone their Spanish skills, all while enjoying the lake’s grandeur. Every town on the […]

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Where Quetzaltrekkers Dare

Text and photos by Robin Canfield

Written By. Robin Canfield I’d like to blame the altitude; I don’t think I’ve ever wheezed so much in my life as I did on my recent trek in the Western Guatemalan mountains. It’s not as if I was trailing behind the group —I usually kept up quite well. And when I was trailing, it was because my film-crew partner […]

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El Remate, Guatemala

A hidden gem just minutes from Tikal El Remate is a little slice of paradise along the shore of lago Petén Itzá, only a few minutes by car from Tikal. The pueblo is home to woodcarvers who display their work—beautiful bowls, statues, jewelry and more—in small, open-air stalls along the street. Located within walking distance from El Remate is the […]

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Raging Bulls and Aging Saints

Gathering in front of the church, Santa Cruz

Time for the annual fair in Santa Cruz la Laguna The feria in Santa Cruz la Laguna is one of a kind. No other Atitlán fair is more classical, more Guatemala-in-the-rough, and more “we’re-not-in-Kansas-anymore, Toto.” There are two Santa “Cruces”: the upper, traditional town and the lower, lakeside district; they are a twain that meet at fair time like they […]

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Technology: Servant or Master?

Sri & Kira

No matter where you reside, your life is now technology driven. Technology that was intended to liberate us, to provide more free time and productivity, has over the decades, enslaved us. In recent history, the change started 120 years ago with the development of factory production lines and electric appliances. The introduction of automobiles and technologies such as refrigeration has […]

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Bird-brains to Watch Birds in Vaudeville

Martin and Zorn augur larks and laughs for Panajachel theater season

Martin and Zorn augur larks and laughs for Panajachel theater season David and Barbara Ramey were wrong about one thing. When the dramatists and retired lobster trappers began snowbirding to Panajachel years ago, they doubted that the Atitlán Basin could support a theater company, much less supply the talent. That was before they discovered the pent-up comic acumen of Jennifer […]

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Marathon fever comes to the shores of Atitlán

Lago de Atitlán Maratón, Panajachel 2012

What would make people want to run barefoot uphill for eight kilometers? The answer: a 1958 foot race departing Panajachel for nearby San Andrés Semetabaj. Scores of participants could not afford shoes, but they would not let this keep them out of the race. The excitement of that event was such that only a year later it went national, and […]

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Fun at the Fair

Deer dancer provide a cultural experience. (photo: Harris & Goller - viaventure.com)

Panajachel to host patron saint festivities in October St. Francis of Assisi was, among other things, the patron of animals and the environment. So it is fitting that fair week in the city named for him, San Francisco Panajachel, will include a ceremony to bless the animals. The environment will also be a theme, with many organizations involved in the […]

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Creepy Carp Haunt the Lake

Creepy Carp Haunt the Lake

As if the ingress of bully bass to Lake Atitlán were not bad enough (see Revue August 2011, Lake Views, page 88), another alien may be even more harmful. At least since 2002, carp of the genus Cyprinus have been appearing in fishermen’s trawling nets. No one knows when they got there, nor what to do about them. “They have […]

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Bad-Ass Bass Rain from the Sky

Karla S. is among the many anglers who frequent the Panajachel piers for bass. (photo: Brennan Harmuth)

53 years ago, an airplane wrought sudden, significant alterations in Lake Atitlán’s food chain Flying fish inhabit oceans, not lakes. Well, except for one sunny day in 1958. If you were looking at Lake Atitlán then, you would have seen big fish on the fly. They arrived in tubs welded into what was, judging from eyewitness accounts, a Sikorsky seaplane, […]

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A traveler’s Perspective of Guatemalan Destinations

I left my favorite shirt on a hammock in Monterrico

text/photos by Tanya Hughes Guatemala is a magical place. I came here the first time on a brief holiday that started on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and took me through Belize and finally into Guatemala. I was impressed with Tikal and Petén, but I immediately fell in love with La Antigua Guatemala. The unique energy that has captured so […]

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Time Is Short and the Water May Rise

Can Panajachel gird up in time for the next flooding? From space, Panajachel resembles a fan on a long, broken rod. This fan abuts Central America’s deepest waters—Lake Atitlán. It looks as though the city, in mortal fear of the lake, wants to escape up the skinny gorge that forms the broken rod. In fact, the lake is the most […]

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Blues master Steve James performs in La Antigua

Internationally known blues guitarist Steve James traveled from Austin, Texas, to perform for an appreciative audience at Ocelot, the blues & jazz joint in La Antigua Guatemala. The intimate setting, limited to just 50 guests, was the perfect venue for James’ flawless fingerpicking on the guitar and mandolin. Singing old standards and newer favorites from his latest CD, ‘Short Blue […]

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Lake Atitlán: Up Close and Cozy

I did not pick the name “Lake Views” for this column, but it stuck nonetheless. So I should probably make the lake my topic at least once. There is no counting the number of times—it is too many—that I have read that Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) called Atitlán the world’s most beautiful lake. He would know, being one of the best-traveled […]

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Panajachel to Host the 18th Annual Cycle Messenger World Championships

The following cities all have something in common: Sydney, Berlin, London, Toronto, New York, Barcelona, Zurich, San Francisco, Tokyo and Panajachel. Wait a minute—Panajachel? The commonality is that all of them, whether world-class metropolis or funky tourist burgs, have hosted, or will host, the prestigious Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC). This month, the event comes to Central America for the […]

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Moulin Rouge — The Musical Comes to Panajachel

May 28 and 29 Vermonters Andy Hauty and Joby Dan’Sy, who brought A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Producers and West Side Story to Panajachel, are bringing this month their rendition of Moulin Rouge. The couple have pleased audiences of locals and weekenders for more than four years with their troupe, Atitlán Youth Theatre. Their productions blend modern dance and music […]

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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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