Explore More and Go Deeper [part 2]

Explore More and Go Deeper [part 2] photos by Julia Harriman

Welcome back to my final five recommendations for deep travel adventures. Take advantage of the dry season and sunny skies to get out and explore. The reward for seeing and experiencing incredible locations that most will miss will be worth it!

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La Camioneta, The journey of one American school bus

by Shannon McCullough Anyone living in or visiting Guatemala knows that the majority of camionetas are converted U.S. school buses. While traveling through Guatemala as part of his Latin American studies, filmmaker Mark Kendall became intrigued with the transformation process after having a conversation with a camioneta driver. It was in that moment he became inspired to share the story […]

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Theft! The tragedy at El Calvario and the paintings of Tomás de Merlo

by Benjamin Reeves The white walls of El Calvario church in La Antigua are almost bare; virtually their only ornamentation is the skeletons of picture frames, appropriate, perhaps for the biblical Calvary but now only a stark reminder of the church’s former artistic glory. Unknown hoodlums absconded from El Calvario with six paintings by the 18th century colonial artist Tomás […]

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Antigua Over The Years

Since 1992, much effort has been dedicated to preserving Antigua with an eye toward finding a balance between preservation and economic development. It is sometimes difficult to remember how abandoned the city truly was. After the 1773 earthquake, most residents did not want to move to muddy empty lots in Guatemala City during the rainy season. It took a royal […]

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Carnival at Sugar City and It’s Raining Ash

Carnival at Sugar City and It’s Raining Ash by Thor Janson

Mazatenango is affectionately referred to by locals as “Sugar City,” as it is surrounded by cane fields and sugar refineries. The growing public antipathy toward everything sweetened and flavored with genetically modified corn syrup has led to a real boom for Guatemala’s south coast producers of real, natural, cane sugar. This current economic upsurge is reflected by the prosperity of […]

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Tony’s tuned up and ready to begin his annual concert series for you to enjoy this month and on into May. Tony has been resting, eating well and repairing his home the last few months while studying his musical scores. Shortly before dawn one morning soon, you will hear him warming up for his season of song. You can’t miss […]

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Casa Popenoe

Rewriting history When the Universidad Francisco Marroquin acquired the Casa Popenoe from the Popenoe family in 2007, we never imagined that, through its historical research, the university would rewrite the house’s history. Dr. Arq. Alberto Garín, curator, has done a fabulous job of just that! Meticulously going through the Popenoe family records and interviewing Dr. Marion Popenoe Hatch, he has […]

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We’ve badly neglected touch as we’ve written these monthly comments about experiencing the five senses in this marvelous land. We see the colorful countryside, gardens and weavings. We hear the church bells, the firecrackers, and student bands drumming in the streets. We smell the coffee and chocolate aromas, and we taste the fresh foods from farms and markets around us. […]

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Tallando Tradiciones

Carrying on the craft of wood carving text & photo by Hilary Kilpatric “I learned my craft from watching my dad. I think I have it in my blood,” Ramos Rodrigo of Tallando Tradiciones said when asked about how he started his career as an artisan. Out of seven children in his family, he is the only of his brothers […]

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Música en Las Aldeas

Classical Music Education for Antigua’s Children by Benjamin Patrick Reeves La Antigua Guatemala does not have a premier institution for providing musical education to children, but Carolina Palomo aims to change that with the opening of a new, non-profit music school, Musica en Las Aldeas. “For 12 years [children] don’t receive any art classes in the public schools,” Palomo said. […]

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Christmas Carols in Guatemala

“When I first viewed the ancient manuscripts in the early 1980s, I was surprised at the beauty of the music and decided to devote efforts to its revival.” —Dr. Dieter Lehnoff Far from modern Christmas carols in English made popular by Bing Crosby and José Feliciano, villancicos are a common poetic and musical form from Spain that date back to […]

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Aprendamos a Darle Buen Trato A Los Animales

Vaccinating the dogs and cats campaign (image by photos.rudygiron.com)

Actualmente se encuentran miles de perros abandonados y perdidos en las calles, aguantando hambre, sed, enfermedades y las inclemencias del tiempo. Lo lamentable es que en un alto porcentaje, han sido abandonados por sus dueños o sencillamente los echaron a la calle. Actos infames y crueles, todos sabemos que los animales domésticos y en especial las mascotas necesitan de los seres humanos para sobrevivir.

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Panic on Pacaya

Pacaya looked like an immense Roman candle as the lava shot more than one kilometer into the firmament and a deep, ultra-low frequency roar emanated from the trembling ground below our feet.

Guatemala is particularly blessed by these immense conical peaks and dozens of them line up along the eastern edge of the Pacific coastal plain. Three of these cones are considered active: Santiaguito, Fuego and Pacaya, while others, like Atitlán, are considered semi-active due to the presence of steam-emitting fumaroles.

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Rescuing Rosie

Happy and healthy Rosie (photo by César Tián)

by Kathy Jo Robbert The chestnut mare floats in her paddock, performing a perfect passage, an advanced dressage movement performed under a rider. But this mare does it all on her own. With her diagonal legs working in perfect synchronization, lifting higher, higher, the mare celebrates the freedom of being who she is. For the first time in a long […]

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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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Q & A with Rafael del Cid

Organic tomatoes

by Shannon McCullough Rafael del Cid is the owner of Organica, a unique market stocked with organic and natural food, supplements, lactose free products, gluten free products, beauty and personal care, ecological products and much more. When did you open Organica Guatemala? The first store opened in 2008 in zone 10, Guatemala City. The high demand for our products led […]

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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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Flying at the top of a mountain

Canopy photo

What is the best place for a bird’s eye view of La Antigua Guatemala? Many people think it’s from the Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross), situated on a mountain north of the city. Even higher than the Cerro de la Cruz is the Santo Domingo del Cerro. Add an incredible zipline adventure (Circo del Aire) and there […]

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Antigua Guatemala celebrates its 34th anniversary UNESCO World Heritage Site

UNESCO declaration (image by photos.rudygiron.com)

Antigua Guatemala was included as No. 65 in the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage List during the World Heritage Convention’s Third Session in October 1979 in Luxor, Egypt. Today there are 981 sites that the World Heritage Committee considers as “having outstanding universal value… the protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.” […]

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Vultures in the Mayan World

Black vultures at Río de la Pasión (Dr. Nicholas M. Hellmuth)

The American black vulture, buzzard or black-headed vulture (Coragyps atratus) is the only species of the genera Coragyps. It is a scavenger, but also eats eggs and newborn animals. These birds find their food using their keen eyesight or by following other vultures that have a good sense of smell.

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Just Say Hello!

A tourist group in Parque Central in Antigua Guatemala (image by photos.rudygiron.com)

Hola! Ciao! Guten Tag! Bonjour! Hello! The universal greeting of meeting another offers a unique and special introduction to Guatemala. La Antigua is such a wondrous and diverse place. You can sit on the square, enjoy an extraordinary cup of coffee and hear languages from around the globe as you enjoy the beauty of the Parque Central and the stunning […]

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Mmm… Macadamia Pancakes

Macadamia pancakes with macadamia butter and fresh blueberry jam

A trip to the Valhalla Macadamia Farm Just minutes from La Antigua Guatemala is an amazing agricultural project, quietly doing a load of good for the planet and indigenous communities in Guatemala. Situated just outside of San Miguel Dueñas, is the Valhalla Macadamia Farm. The farm produces wonderful organic macadamia nuts, makes/produces an exceptional line of skin care products, serves […]

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