Mystery at Tak’alik Ab’aj

The proud team of excavators of the Tak’alik Ab’aj National Project who discovered Monuments 215 (in front) and 217

“Standing Stones” site yields unprecedented sculpture Archaeologists recently discovered ancient altars, monuments and an unprecedented stone sculpture at a 2.5-square-mile Mayan ruin near Retalhuleu in southwestern Guatemala. Representing both Olmec and Maya cultures, the Tak’alik Ab’aj (Standing Stones) site was inhabited for nearly 1,700 years, starting roughly in 1000 BC, and was a key trading center with ancient merchants traveling […]

Read more

Sensuous Guatemala: Holiday Mélange

Guatemalan Christmas Season Vistas (photos: Rudy Girón/rudygiron.com)

Red and green are the traditional holiday colors around the world, including Guatemala. Here, however, sight is not the only sense involved in the year-end celebrations. Pungent odors and delightful tastes combine with vivid colors and sweet sounds in a multi-sensory holiday mixture. Bells ring with special joy, carolers sing, marimbas play the music of the season throughout the Highlands […]

Read more

Preserving Traditions

Accessories from the Stained Glass Collection, created by association members

Written by Amanda Flayer Cojolya Association celebrates 25 years supporting women weavers in Santiago Atitlán Santiago Atitlán, a bustling indigenous village in the Guatemalan Highlands, has been celebrated by locals and tourists alike for its preservation of backstrap-loom weaving and the traditions surrounding it. An ancient art, backstrap loom weaving is recorded in the artifacts of the Maya. The Goddess […]

Read more

A Smile Goes A Long Way

Dental extraction aided by light from flashlight

Written by Malia Dewse photos: Nate Gerodias and Malia Dewse The Emergency Dental Project is in its fourth year and going strong The impact of small voluntary projects, driven by one or two people with a passion for what they are doing, cannot be underestimated. One such project has provided free written dental examinations, fluoride treatment and emergency extractions to […]

Read more

The Carrera de Charolas

Carrera de las Charolas (Leonel Mijangos/enantigua.com)

Celebrating La Fonda de la Calle Real’s 33rd anniversary with the 7th annual race event — Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. In Spain, during the Festival of San Fermín, stampeding bulls and would-be matadors run wild in the streets of Pamplona, and in Buñol, the Festival La Tomatina is a tomato throwing free-for-all. In La Antigua Guatemala, the Carrera de […]

Read more

Cooking With Class

Instructor Militza de León teaches a new menu every day with hands-on experience (photo: Jack Houston)

Written by Dianne Carofino Where the excuse “I ate my homework” actually works Outdoor dining at its best: under a 130-year-old avocado tree in the walled garden of a La Antigua colonial home. The menu? Traditional Guatemalan dishes: subanik—a four-meat stew with a spicy sauce of puréed roasted tomatoes and red peppers, white-dough tamal to soak up that rich sauce […]

Read more

Messengers in the Wind

Kids flying kites  (photo: Iván Castro/ivancastroguatemala.com)

Written by Ignacio Ochoa The history of kite making in Santiago Sacatepéquez On November 1 and 2, a powerful force stirs in all the towns of Guatemala. Traditional markets are filled with flowers of sempa (orange marigolds), chrysanthemums, wild daisies and the smell of copal—a pre-Columbian incense made from pine resin. People clean family graves and adorn them with cut-out […]

Read more

Humble Beginnings

Large San Jerónimo plaza; kitchen chimney peeks over back wall (photo by Jack Houston)

The Story of the Ruins of San Jerónimo The spacious, bright and well-kept flowered lawn of the San Jerónimo ruins at the north end of Alameda Santa Lucía welcomes visitors to the site of a school that functioned barely four years and closed with five students. In Colonial Architecture of Antigua, Sidney Markman wrote, “Very little remains of the school […]

Read more

La Profecía Maya 2012

Ballet Folklórico dancers perform a dance of symbolic rebirth (photo: Georgeann Johnson)

Written by Elizabeth Hart – photos: Georgeann Johnson It may be difficult to find friends and family outside of Guatemala who know much about the Mayan calendar. But here, the calendar—and especially the significance of its end date in 2012—are regular topics of conversation, as Guatemala’s ancient history was likely a part of the original intrigue for many of us. […]

Read more

Sensuous Guatemala: Independence Celebrations!

Independence Day Celebrations by Rudy Girón

The steady beat of the marching drum, the somewhat-less-steady march of student footsteps along the cobblestone, the sudden thump of a mortar, a shell climbing to burst into multicolors of celebration. Any good excuse is a good time for celebration, of course, but September holds a special one: Independence Day on the 15th, and the sounds, smells, tastes and sights […]

Read more

One More Time Tunnel: El Capitol

Predecessor of Edificio Capitol, right, circa 1930; the long gone former Cine Capitol is on the left, across the street. (photo: Sergio Cruz Arteaga)

Thirty years ago metropolitan Guatemala had fewer than half its current 3.6 million people. Today’s well-heeled suburbs in its southeast quadrant were separated from El Centro by receding pastures and gardens. Zone One had long gone to seed, but in the late 1970s an attempt to return it to respectability was launched on Downtown’s main drag, Sexta avenida, between calles […]

Read more

Who is Latin America’s finest scribe?

Portrait of María del Carmen Escobar.

Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez is the most read. Chile’s Isabel Allende is a top female contender. And so, in 2002, I borrowed a book by each for my wife, thinking that some august literature might quell her post-natal depression. I also bought a book by María del Carmen Escobar. María del Carmen Who? Good question. But the first question—the identity […]

Read more

Guatetemala’s Olympic Athletes

12 remarkable athletes will be representing Guatemala at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Our best wishes and hopes for success go out to Evelyn Nuñez in the 20 kilometer race walk, José Amado García and Alfredo Arevalo in the 42 kilometer marathon and veteran Luis Bechinie in the 50 kilometer race walk. Also deserving of medals are Eddie Valenzuela in boxing; […]

Read more

The Zen of Fin and Fondo

The Zen of Fin and Fondo

Here comes another cluster of words—fin, fondo and extremo—that combine to express a key English word (end). Methinks it would be nice if we could just hybridize them into a something like “findo.” However, there’s the danger that such a word could jump out of a skinny phrasebook and into pidgin Spanish as a noun: “el findo.” Can’t you just […]

Read more

The Time Tunnels of Zone One

Pasaje Aycinenea circa 1924

Read—or walk —your way through 22 minutes of time travel in Guatemala’s historic center The yen to envision a familiar place in an earlier era is universal. In the sixties, it found expression in the campy sci-fi serial The Time Tunnel, in which two scientists are sporked through historical crossings in which the supporting roles—from Alexander the Great onward—conveniently speak […]

Read more
1 10 11 12