The 10th Festival Atitlán

The 10th Festival Atitlán

Once again, it’s springtime—and time for the 10th annual Festival Atitlán! Set for Saturday, March 17, just outside Santiago Atitlán, the festival has become the largest alternative outdoor music and arts event in Guatemala. Featuring a diverse list of performers, the 12-hour festival includes plenty of activities for kids, too. Admission is Q125 (kids under 10, free), and all proceeds […]

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Picnic at Finca El Zapote

Written by. Maya Fledderjohn On Sunday, March 4, the Museo Ixchel will hold its annual picnic. The Leonowens family has again graciously made their farm El Zapote available for the event. Finca El Zapote lies in the shadow of Fuego at about 3,000 feet. The weather at this time of year is near perfect—dry and comfortably warm. It was at […]

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The Continuing Search for Original Mayan Cotton

Written by. Dr. Nicholas M. Hellmuth When you look at the portraits of kings, high priests and other nobles on Mayan stelae, murals or painted ceramics you can see how much attention the Maya dedicated to their clothing. Each ritual, every ceremony, had special clothing. Even peasants wore at least a loincloth. Most of the women of the elite class […]

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Healing Through Love: A Mayan Story

Sri & Kira

Arriving at the dock of TOSA LL, on the shores of Lake Atitlán, our guests, a doctor and his wife, explained that they have dedicated their lives to healing and are allopathic physicians. They first arrived in Guatemala about 10 years ago and donate time at the local hospital to assist the indigenous. The couple have offered medical services worldwide […]

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A Short History of Medicine

2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.” 1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.” 1850 A.D. – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.” 1940 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.” 1985 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.” 2000 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.”

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YogAntigua: 108 Sun Salutations — for Education

As many people have discovered, yoga is good for the mind, body and soul. It turns out that this year it will also be good for education! On March 10 at 4:30 p.m. YogAntigua will host its third “108 Sun Salutations” event at El Cerro de La Cruz. Similar to a walkathon, participants commit to practicing up to 108 sun […]

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Maya Roads

Maya Roads One Woman’s Journey Among the People of the Rainforest by Mary Jo McConahay

Maya Roads One Woman’s Journey Among the People of the Rainforest by Mary Jo McConahay Cover photo Nancy McGirr Map & chapter illustrations, René Ozaeta Chicago Review Press ISBN 978 1 56976 548 7 Standing in front of the Lacandón Maya exhibit at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, author Mary Jo McConahay surprised herself by saying out […]

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Antigua Boulder Challenge

Getting ready for the Antigua Boulder Challenge (photo by Rudy A. Girón)

The Antigua Boulder Challenge is a climbing competition organized by the Asociación de Alpinismo de Sacatepéquez, La Rocalla and The North Face Guatemala with competitors from all over Central America. There will be 14 competitors from Guatemala, ten men and four women, eight from El Salvador, five from Costa Rica and two from Honduras according to Felipe Álvarez, one of […]

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Granito de arena

Granito: How to Nail a Dictator

“Ever since I filmed these generals in 1982, I’ve wanted to see them pay for their crimes,” says filmmaker Pamela Yates. Determined to “find out what was really going on,” Yates originally came to Guatemala in the 1980s to make a documentary about a hidden war. Thirty years later, material from her film, which captures some of the only footage […]

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Interview: Franklin Contreras

Portrait of Franklin Contreras by Mathieu Hutin

From building houses out of cardboard boxes in his parents’ electrical store when he was a child, to designing candy stores at the university, Franklin Contreras was always destined to be an architect. The talented Guatemalan now owns his own firm, which employs over 200 people, and their designs stand out as pieces of art, especially along the streets of […]

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Why has there been so much speculation about the Mayan 2012 calendar?

Mayan 2012 calendar

Calendars reflect how cultures and societies view the organization of time and space over the centuries. Many calendars have emerged and many have disappeared or been modified: the Julian calendar, the Republican calendar, the Gregorian calendar and the Mayan calendar to name a few. Each one involved astronomical calculations and incorporate harvests and religious or spiritual fiestas. I remember in […]

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The 2012 Mayan Meetings Beyond the Glyphs: Mayan Inscriptions as Literature

The 2012 Mayan Meetings

After decades of hard work at deciphering Mayan hieroglyphs from c. 300-900 AD, we are left with thousands of texts written in Classic Mayan. How do we go about studying these sources as true texts? What were the different genres of writing, and how did they vary over time and space? How did scribes design their texts rhetorically and visually […]

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Sights and Sounds of Christmastime in Guatemala

Ventas navideñas de los campos del Roosevelt (photo by Roberto Urrea)

Christmas colors in Guatemala don’t stop with red and green, and dreams of a white Christmas must also include the entire rainbow. Yes, the brilliant red poinsettias and fragrant green pine needles, the ripe red berries and deep green leaves of the coffee trees, give all Central America the traditional Christmas colors of much of the world, but holidays in […]

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Elizabeth Bell receives Orden Diego de Porres award

Elizabeth Bell receives award

The Orden Diego de Porres – Gold Award – was awarded to Elizabeth Bell at Capuchinas by the Consejo Nacional Para la Proteccion de La Antigua Guatemala on December 1st. The following is the speech she gave following the presentation. Autoridades eclestiásticas y civiles, Miembros del Consejo Nacional para la Protección de la Antigua Guatemala, Conservador de La Ciudad, y […]

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Spices

Spices

Spices are important in Guatemalan cooking, especially in many sweets and drinks around the holidays. Spice colors are rich in the landscape this month also, which seems fitting as spices were what the Europeans sought when they first sailed west to bump into these shores. Guatemala produces some spices, but joins the rest of the world in adding clove, cinnamon, […]

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What Will I Do with the Gold?

by Jack and Joy Houston “My name is Thompson because da Vinci was already taken,” Al quips in his typical, quick humor. In fact, there are similarities between the 15th century artist and Al Thompson, born in 1928. Both justly claim a diversity of talents: painting, sculpting, inventing, writing, to name a few. An exhibition of Al’s most recent creations […]

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The Noche Before Christmas

santa

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa, Not a creature was stirring ¡Caramba! ¿Qué pasa? Los niños were tucked away in their camas, Some in long underwear, some in pijamas, While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado, In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado, To bring all children, both buenos and malos, A nice batch of […]

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Historic sites in Guatemala, Belize on global watch list

The Mayan ruins of Quiriguá in Izabal and El Zotz in Petén, as well as the historic architecture of Belize City, have been included on the World Monuments Fund (WMF) 2012 Watch, a list of cultural heritage sites around the world at risk of damage or destruction from a variety of threats. With a mission of preserving the world’s architectural […]

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Handel’s Messiah

Last year's production of Handel's Messiah

A rehearsal hall in Guatemala City has been filled with the sounds of Christmas since mid-September as the Guatemala Community Choir prepares for its annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. The production, now in its eighth year, will feature U.S. soloists J.J. Hobbs, Liz Cass, Sam Lowry and, making his Guatemala debut, baritone Phillip Hill from Austin, Texas. Trumpeter Randy Sonntag […]

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Migratory House

Designed in Guatemala, built in Florida

For most people, home is where the heart is, but for Gerri and George Chester, home is where Guatemala is—whether they’re in Florida or in La Antigua Guatemala. Tired of moving around every few years for work, the retired Foreign Service officers decided to set up house in Florida just over 10 years ago and build their dream home where […]

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Crocodiles, caimans and alligators in Mayan art & mythology of Guatemala

Crocodiles (photos by Nicholas Hellmuth)

There are two species of crocodiles and one species of alligator in the Mayan regions of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Mexico. Caiman crocodilus is a caiman, but considered an alligator (not a crocodile) despite its name “crocodilus.” The pattern of scales on this creature is very distinctive: no spikes or sharp spines but lots of raised bumps in a regular […]

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Lured to La Antigua

In 1946 Gore Vidal purchased the property adjacent to the elaborate façade of the Church of El Carmen. (photo by Jack Houston)

Mystery tantalizes the memory of Amelia Earhart, who disappeared somewhere over the Pacific during her attempted flight around the globe in 1937, piloting her twin-engine plane with only a navigator aboard. The world watched and waited as communication broke, came again, broke again and eventually fell silent. In the early days of aviation, Earhart’s gutsy solo flight across the Atlantic […]

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