Ernesto Argueta Fraatz, Artist Profile

Ernesto Argueta Fraatz, Artist Profile

Home is where the art is, an interview with Guatemalan artist Ernesto Argueta Fraatz at his art studio. It was a beautiful afternoon in early April when I hopped off the bus in San Pedro Carchá, a predominantly Q’eqchi-speaking, Maya municipality located about 10 kilometers east of Cobán in the forested Highlands of Alta Verapaz. I was on my way to […]

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Guatemala – Flora easy, Fauna Harder

Flora easy, Fauna harder

The colorful sights and rich fragrances of Guatemalan flora are easy to find and enjoy, as witnessed by many of this month’s photo contest entries. Lush bougainvillea spilling over white walls, towering cieba trees in the Highlands and mahogany in the jungles, long-stemmed roses and planters of orchids in every shade and variety, flora everywhere all year long in Guatemala’s […]

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Holy Week 2018 an explosion of color and a sense of community

Holy Week 2018

La Antigua Guatemala embraces the largest celebration in the world for Lent and Holy Week, and this year was no exception. Visitors came from afar to experience a “Semana Santa moment” as Antigueños created countless flower and sawdust carpets throughout the processional routes and an array of holy vigils and processions. With more than 60 activities during the 40-day period […]

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The Union Church of Guatemala

The Union Church of Guatemala

A Story of Faithful Servants Standing in the Gap -The History of the Protestant Church in Guatemala. The Union Church of Guatemala is an international, interdenominational church dedicated to serving the English-speaking Protestant population of Guatemala. The history of the church can be traced back to a faithful woman named Frances de Cleaves. Born in Roatan, Honduras and raised in […]

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The River, the Wall, and the Borderlands

The River, the Wall and the Borderlands

A first-generation American’s search for answers along his country’s greatest divide. On an unseasonably warm February afternoon, Austin Alvarado pushed his canoe into the winding waters of the Río Grande. Steadying the boat with his paddle as he had so many times before, the 25-year-old wilderness guide looked over his shoulder and locked eyes with a familiar face. His mother, […]

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A Coin Collector in Guatemala

A Coin Collector in Guatemala

I’m a coin collector, you’re a coin collector. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re all coin collectors. Is there one among us, who upon receiving something different in change, doesn’t toss it in a dresser drawer for keeps? Guatemala is paradise for coin collectors and Banco Industrial has opened a gate to this paradise through a small but well-curated coin […]

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Francisco Zúñiga

Francisco Zúniga

When visitors come to Francisco Zúñiga’s jade jewelry workshops, he always offers them the same simple advice: “When you work with jade, you must feel at peace and very happy.” From the joy Zúñiga expresses in his work, it’s clear he’s a man who lives by his words. Zúñiga, whose long beard, glasses and warm smile recall everyone’s favorite grandfather, […]

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Dining & Partying during the Holidays in La Antigua

Dining & Partying during the Holidays in La Antigua

Christmas & New Year Parties & Dinner, La Antigua December 24 Christmas Eve Dinner Chooose between 2 different gourmet menus. Q295* per person *add 10% service charge. For reservations call 7873-7000 Ext. 5899/5845 Hotel Camino Real/Restaurante Las Velas, 7a calle poniente #33B   December 31 New Year’s Eve Dinner Chooose between 2 different gourmet menus. Q290* per person *add 10% service […]

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The Antigua International School Celebrates a Milestone

The Antigua International School

Think Critically, Act Ethically, Serve Others. Arturo and José Pablo stood up slowly and faced their classmates. The class had gathered comfortably in a circle, strewn on the couches and beanbags in the library. The boys leaned over to the computer to start the video they had produced, “1954 Coup D’etat: Death of the Guatemalan Spring.” As the video played, […]

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Traditional Mayan Weaving vs Machines

Traditional Mayan Weaving vs Machines

The Industrial Revolution’s Latest Conquest. This is not the end of traditional Mayan weaving, but it is having a huge impact. Beautiful huipil, isn’t it? It’s the current style, one of them. In some parts of Guatemala, monochromatics are the moda, so this would likely be worn with a multi-green skirt if the woman is from one of those areas. (In […]

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Telenovelas in Pan-Latino Context by June Carolyn Erlick

Telenovelas in Pan-Latino Context

“A delightful, thoroughly researched and enlightening account of what is perhaps Latin America’s most important cultural phenomenon, the Telenovela.” —Alma Guillermoprieto, writer for The New York Review of Books and the author of A Heart That Bleeds. Who doesn’t enjoy a steamy romance? Add to that a dose of drama or hint of betrayal and you have all the makings of […]

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An “A” for Zinnia

An "A" for Zinnia

They’re all over the country this season, their bright colors in markets, gardens, on tables and along roadsides. And they belong here, more than we do. Zinnias are native, a kind of sunflower, related to daisies, native through Central America and Mexico and up into the Southwestern United States. They’re officially zinnia americanas, according to the German master botanist Zinn, […]

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In Her Memory; A True Story

In Her Memory a True Story

My gaze fell upon a sparrow with tiny fledglings that at this moment were trying their wings under the patient guidance of the mother. A quiet, warm afternoon, I was sipping coffee in the small patio with multi-colored flowers in kaleidoscopic array under the radiant sun. My gaze fell upon a sparrow with tiny fledglings that at this moment were […]

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COFFEE IN CRISIS

Coffee in Crisis

How climate change impacts livelihoods in Guatemala. Guatemala is one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, containing a vast abundance of natural resources. Many are unaware, though, how the areas in this region are being affected by threats from environmental degradation and climate change. Rural food producers who depend on natural resources face challenges. Meanwhile, Guatemala is […]

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Guardians of the Seeds

Guardians of the Seeds

Multinational Capitalism vs Traditional Cultures Preservation: Monoculture vs Biodiversity Preservation Guatemala offers foreigners and locals alike a steady stream of off-the-wall, perplexing and downright strange occurrences and situations. It’s one of the qualities of the country that has kept me coming back for three consecutive summers from Washington, D.C., and has lured thousands of extranjeros to relocate to the country […]

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A New Breed of Guatemalan Millennials

A New Breed of Guatemalan Millennials

As a new generation of young adults we’ve glimpsed at how we can bring our experiences and knowledge back to Guatemala. I was born in Guatemala in 1996, the same year the Guatemalan Peace Accords were signed, ending its 36-year civil war with some 200,000 civilians dead or disappeared. The hope was that with this peace, there would come a […]

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Education in Guatemala Happy Teacher’s Day -June 25th-

Education in Guatemala Happy Teacher’s Day

Teachers have a particularly difficult job in Guatemala as few resources are allotted to public schools. In theory, education is free and compulsory through sixth grade. Books, busing and uniforms are not free and result in higher drop out levels. Today, about 4 million children are enrolled out of a total population of 15.8 million people. Education in colonial times […]

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Guatemala Profile Fernando Pinzón

Guatemala Profile Fernando Pinzón

Sololá Native, Fernando Pinzón, Creates Handcrafted Journals Made of Recycled Materials. It is a hot autumn day in Panajachel and the stores selling brightly colored Mayan-threaded blankets, bags, clothing and gifts are teeming with activity. However, as we walk to the boat dock, a sidewalk display of journals unlike we’ve ever seen catches our eye. We find out that each […]

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Difficulties of Education in Guatemala

Difficulties of Education in Guatemala

With Teacher’s Day celebrated in Guatemala on June 25, we recognize teachers’ hard work and the difficulties of education in Guatemala. Many visitors ask if public education is free in Guatemala. Well, “yes” — but school supplies, uniforms and transportation are not. Public schools have little funding as Guatemala has one of the lowest investment rates per child/per school day […]

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Please Recycle

please recycle

Attention Sacatepéquez residents, “Please Recycle.” Now there is a small recycling center, five minutes from central La Antigua Guatemala, 100 yards past the bridge as you come into San Pedro las Huertas, on the left side of the street, just past the gated community San Pedro el Alto. Recicladora San Pedro de las Huertas is run by Familia López. They […]

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Meet the Antigua Guatemala Fútbol Club

Antigua Guatemala Fútbol Club

The Antigua Guatemala Fútbol Club brings professional soccer matches with the nation’s top players to a local venue. As I walked into the sunny soccer/fútbol stadium at Estadio Pensativo in La Antigua Guatemala, the first thing that hit me was the warm and safe family ambience: the sound of marimba music, fans happily eating mouth-watering snacks and enjoying shaved-ice fruit […]

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Handmade Boots in Pastores Guatemala

handmade boots

Pastores is the go-to place in Guatemala for handmade boots. Visiting Pastores to look for boots, I met with Alicia López, director of an English-language program for local kids. López and her students also offer free tours of the town, which has dozens of shops turning out handmade boots and leather goods. López’s English students have uncovered an extraordinary nugget […]

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Antigua Green School

Antigua Green School

Antigua Green School individually tracks each student’s progress and adapts its teaching style to them. Every parent the world over wants the best education for his or her children. And Guatemala is no different. Ensuring the best education they can is most parents’ main priority so as to provide their children with the greatest chance of success. And having a […]

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Sniffer Dogs of Guatemala

sniffer dogs Guatemala

A visit to Guatemala’s training center for 4-legged agents.  There is a prevalent myth about drug-detecting dogs (sniffer dogs) in Guatemala and elsewhere. Many people believe that these dogs are exposed to the drugs they detect, and are in effect addicted to them, which is why they seek them out. They are absolutely not given drugs, nor are they addicted […]

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Camp Week Guatemala

Camp Week Guatemala

Viamistad hosts camp week experiences in Guatemala that provide freedom, purpose, recreation and authentic relationships. In the summer of 1998 I volunteered at Camp Jabberwocky, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Founded in 1950, it is the oldest summer camp in the U.S. serving the disabled. Everyone needs freedom, purpose, recreation and authentic relationships that are based on mutual enjoyment and sharing. People […]

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