Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life in Guatemala

text and photos by Kerstin Sabene. I wasn’t sure what to expect as we headed out to visit the cemetery in Sumpango on Día de los Muertos. Nov. 1 and 2 is a sacred time in Guatemala when families throughout the country gather at cemeteries to honor their loved ones. As I would soon discover, the ritual is as touching […]

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A Kaleidoscope of Color and Tradition

All Saints Day, Nov. 1.  text and photos by Kerstin Sabene. I returned to La Antigua Guatemala last October because I so enjoy living among the ancient ruins and architecture that give this city its stunning colonial atmosphere. I especially love the Guatemalan people and their many sacred traditions and was excited to experience for the first time the colorful […]

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Maya Princesses

Rabin Ajau: The paramount indigenous cultural event of the Mayan world text/photos by Capt. Thor Janson — navigator / explorer (facebook.com/nubliselva) — Candaleria Coquix grew up in the little settlement of Cantón Zapotál, part of the Municipality of San Lucas Tolimán in the Department of Sololá. Just a stone’s throw from a little bay on the southern shore of Lake Atitlán, Zapotal […]

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Discovering Passion in Guatemala

  by Sri Ram Kaa and Kira Raa Passion! A word that evokes many differing images with diverse expressions of the experience. April is the month in Guatemala where passion ignites its richness with a cacophony of events, emotions and experiences that are here for you to discover. When we live from our passion we experience a richer life. It […]

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Lent and Semana Santa

Antigua recently surpassed Seville, Spain as having the largest Easter Week celebration in the world today! In 1524 the conquerors had barely set foot in Guatemala when they introduced their traditions for Lent and Semana Santa from Seville, Spain. These have evolved over the centuries and Antigua recently surpassed Seville as having the largest celebration in the world today! Carpet […]

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Fiambre!

Fiambre de Guatemala (image by photos.rudy giron.com) image by photos.rudygiron.com

The Traditional Dish of November To appreciate fiambre imagine it is the middle of the eighth century. Until this time, All Saints Day was celebrated on May 13 and experts believed that rituals were deeply rooted in a similar pagan celebration, Feast of the Lemures, a day when evil spirits were mollified by Earth-dwellers. Pope Gregory III consecrated a new […]

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Traditions

Giant kites of Santiago Sacatepéquez (image by photos.rudy giron.com)

November begins with one of Guatemala’s most colorful traditions, El día de Los Muertos/El día de los Difuntos (Day of the Dead), which is celebrated throughout the country in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls Day on Nov. 2. For over 100 years, one of the biggest celebrations has been taking […]

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Working Together

TziminChac now operating at Lago Petén Itzá, Flores, Petén

TziminChac now operating at Lago Petén Itzá, Flores, Petén The management had a dilemma when it came time to decide where Tzimin Chac, a new tourist raft, could best operate. The raft, built on two 27-foot floats, much like a catamaran, needs calm waters in order to provide a smooth ride for its passengers. Due to strong winds, the waters […]

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Ponche

A Recipe for Your Guatemalan Christmas Noche Buena in Antigua—a time for family and firecrackers, midnight mass and a bounty of tamales. Festivities last long into the night and as the clock ticks closer to 1:00 (or 4:00) o’clock in the morning, many celebrants need a little splash of life to keep the party going. For Guatemalans, that little splash […]

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Rab’inal Achí

Cosmic Dance of the Ancient Maya The Rab’inal Achí dance-drama traces its roots to pre-Columbian times and is probably the best-preserved, authentic Mayan cultural event in Mesoamerica. The choreographed dance/play depicts creation myths, dynastic political rivalries and even predicted the Spanish conquest of the land of the Maya centuries before it occurred. Since remote times the Maya used musical theater […]

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Fiambre

A History of Guatemalan Family and Tradition To appreciate fiambre, you need a brief history lesson. It is the middle of the eighth century. Until this time, All Saints Day was celebrated on May 13 and experts believed that rituals were deeply rooted in a similar pagan celebration, Feast of the Lemures, a day when evil spirits were mollified by […]

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Tapado

Coconut milk and boat-fresh seafood creates a Río Dulce specialty and the garífuna’s most beloved dish With an abundance of impossibly fresh seafood and locally grown, tropical produce—from bright green plantains to coffee-brown coconuts—it is no wonder food on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast is distinctive from platos típicos found on the interior. Aside from ingredients, the major culinary influence at the […]

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The Magnificent and Fragile Giant Kites of Sumpango

Text/photos by Louise Wisechild

Kites of November Written by. Louise Wisechild On Nov. 1, visitors travel to Sumpango and Santiago, Sacatépequez, to stand in awe of los barilletes gigantes, the giant kites made specifically for the Day of the Dead in these two Kaqchikel Mayan villages. As large as 20 meters, the size of a six-story building, the kites are decorated in figures, landscapes […]

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