Echoes of Fine Colonial Homes

More than beautiful stone mansions, these were homes of real people with real lives, joys, and sorrows. In Michener’s Poland (1983), a professor who clung to life in a concentration camp pleaded, “Rebuild! Rebuild!” as “the most important thing to do when this nightmare ends…an act of faith, an act of commitment to the future…a testimony to the greatness we […]

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Oliver Thornwhistle On—Night & Day

There is beauty and mystery in your garden around the clock written by S.C. Johnson Day Time You have a pretty good idea of what is going on in your daytime garden, since every day you can watch the main attractions. They include hummingbirds and butterflies, lured by the modern trend of planting hummingbird and butterfly “friendly” plants and flowers. […]

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CONSTRU CASA

A family from San Miguel Dueñas celebrating their new home

Building new lives in Guatemala written by Brian Kirkup Constru Casa was founded in 2004, and by the end of 2010 we hope to have built our 400th home. The houses are basic but effective, consisting of three rooms, concrete walls, a metal roof, a concrete floor, a shower and a toilet. The cost of the house to the family […]

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How well do you know Chapín Spanish?

(Ser) Pura lata:

I certainly didn’t expect to get a free lesson of what I call Chapiñol, it is maybe 50 percent Spanish and 50 percent Chapinismos. His name was Miguel and he started throwing phrases like: tengo un gran clavo or me echan el muerto. I simply replied yes and/or no, but in truth I had no idea what he was talking about, “I have a big nail” What ???

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Oliver Thornwhistle On—Luciérnagas

Luciérnaga

Here come Guatemala’s Fireflies: It must be May, or is it? written by S.C. Johnson All seafarers know the importance of light, as in lighthouse or beacon. Before GPS, charts showed lights sequences, say one short and two long flashes of lights followed by darkness, and if the navigator spotted the right sequence, he knew where he was. Lighthouses were […]

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Oliver Thornwhistle On Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea Sampler (photo Rudy Girón/AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com)

written by S.C. Johnson Sometime, before my time, I believe it was in the 1930s when minds were preoccupied with the Great Depression, everybody had to have a national or a state flower. Now mostly, nobody even knows what they are. I was at a British pub quiz night recently and our Swedish team member had no idea what the […]

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The Objective Virtues of Guatemalan Coffee

One criticism of columnists is that too often, we cover old ground. When we run out of real ideas, we attempt to build bridges to Readerland on rainy, or writer’s-blocked, days with off-the-shelf topics. I have read more than one column about coffee, for instance. Everyone has experience with coffee, so it is as safe a topic as you can […]

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El Tesoro de El Calvario

El Tesoro de El Calvario

Patrimonio de La Antigua Guatemala This book was produced in order to promote the rescue and appreciation of the Ermita de El Calvario at La Antigua Guatemala. It is dedicated to Santo Hermano Pedro who lived in the Ermita and was canonized in July 2002. Spanish language, 156 pages, color plus black and white photographs, fully indexed; cover water color […]

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Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez

Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez

Artist Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez stands with her latest mural, “…so you can compare the size with an average person.” The painting now hangs in the baptistery of the Cathedral of Santa Cruz del Quiché, the second of her works there and the 18th mural she has donated to Guatemala churches. At five square meters, this is among her smaller […]

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Festival Atitlán

The Festival Atitlán returns for its 9th year, once again celebrating springtime with music, dance, theatre, graphic art displays and workshops, plus a great kid section, and a promise of a beautiful day with family and friends outdoors on the shores of Lake Atitlán. As is the custom, the proceeds are donated to a local good works project. In the […]

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Be My Valentine

Antigua Guatemala Roses

Our town of La Antigua and the Guatemalan Highlands send valentines to their lovers this month through each of the senses. Elegant long-stemmed red roses go out from local growers to all Europe and the Americas, and the roses not exported fill the markets for local romantics. Rich red bougainvillea vines spill over the white walls, dainty red fuchsia hang […]

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Joy to the World

Roman Rudnytsky

An evening of piano music with Roman Rudnytsky Tuesday, December 8, 7:00 p.m. Teatro Dick Smith, IGA, ruta 1, 4-05, zone 4, Guatemala City Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Admission free Roman Rudnytsky is an American concert pianist of Ukrainian background and a graduate of the world-renowned Juilliard School for music, dance, and drama, in New York. As of 2009, […]

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FÚTBOL: Barrio Norte Style

text and photos by Dorothy Kethler Las Manos (The Hands), Los Cuates (Buddies), Talleres (Metal Workers), Areneros (Sand Diggers), Las Muñecas (The Dolls), Los Dragones (The Dragons), these are a few of the 36 soccer teams participating in the Barrio Norte Soccer Project. Every Saturday and Sunday the raucous cheers and thuds of the games can be heard throughout the […]

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The Night Before Navidad

Santa Claus

‘‘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 dulces and other regalos. […]

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Agua y Fuego Fires Up Eco-Tourism on Ometepe

(photo by vicky stephens)

Nicaraguan ultra-marathon not for the faint of heart… literally. One word sums it up: extreme. A new ultra-marathon in Nicaragua is drawing the most audacious of athletes to its volcanic island of Ometepe. Fuego y Agua 100k and 50k is Isla de Ometepe’s first-ever racing event, challenging true adventure seekers to summit not one, but two looming volcanoes … by […]

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Find the Heliotrope

Heliotrope plant (photo by Hubert J. Steed)

Here’s a challenge for November — find the heliotrope. It’s there, around us, hidden among the rainbow of prolific colors in the Guatemalan spectrum, in weavings, on some walls, along the roadways. I said heliotrope, mind you, not fuchsia, indigo, lilac, mauve, periwinkle, or any of those other shades of violet that are also to be found in the Highlands. […]

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The Woman Behind the Crusader

A chat with Vida Amor De Paz, Guatemala’s crusader for protecting the planet Her smile is electric. Her energy is vibrant. Her achievements … inspiring. My brief interview with Vida Amor De Paz has certainly left me with a powerfully affecting impression. I am new to Guatemala and can claim no more than five months of exploring the country and […]

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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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A Honey of a Business

by Judith Cohen An expert’s view on how honey and bees are faring in Guatemala Alejandro Nicol is an expert in the honey business. After studying beekeeping for two years at Ohio State University, he now advises the Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación (MAGA) on the care, feeding, export, import and preservation of bees. I met him at the […]

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Golf Tournament; Antigua Grudge Match

First place team: (l-r) Hugo Cerezo, John Chudy, Diego Cerezo, Nathan Liskey

Last month included the first annual Antigua Invitational Golf Tournament. Played at the spectacular Mayan Golf Club overlooking Lake Amatitlán, the format was “scramble” with four-person teams. The competition was fierce but the lunch gathering afterwards was amiable with prizes for longest drives, closest to the pin, and of course for the lowest scoring team who posted a 65. If […]

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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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