Festival de la Tortuga

Festival de la Tortuga (photo by Iñaki Oliver)

Nesting season for sea turtles is in full swing along Guatemala’s Pacific beaches, where from July to December, the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) comes ashore to lay eggs.   To raise awareness of this endangered species, the third annual Sea Turtle Festival will take place the weekend of Nov. 18-20 in Monterrico and nearby Hawaii. Events include lectures, workshops and […]

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Morral Builder

Handmade bags reflect the creativity of a tradition The morral (bag) is a common textile item found all over Guatemala and is often distinct to specific municipalities. Bags likely developed because men’s traje does not have pockets, and they became a necessary accessory for men to carry small items when walking to the milpa fields or market. Women sometimes use […]

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Getting High in Ixchiguán

Like Shangri-La, the name beckons from the maps–enticing, mysterious and alluring: Ixchiguan! I had noticed the place many years ago, and I was always looking for someone who could tell me more about this far-flung outpost. Ask anyone on the street in La Antigua Guatemala if they know anything about Ixchiguan and 99-to-1 they will say that they’ve never heard […]

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Weaving a History

The weaving tradition expresses that past and the world view, full of symbolism which connects the Maya to all of creation. (photo by Rudy A. Girón)

At the beginning of time, according to ancient Mayan legend, the gods from their center spun out the cosmos, setting in place the universe. The corn god laid out the four corners and erected the World Tree in the center, from whose branches grew one of everything to come. When they became too full, the ‘fruit’ fell, scattering seeds. The […]

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November 2011 in Revue Magazine

Hatchling Trek (photo: Jordan Banks)

The 3rd annual Festival de la Tortuga will be held this month on the Pacific beaches in Monterrico and neighboring Hawaii. The festival’s purpose is to raise awareness of the endangered olive ridley sea turtle; Alice Lee provides details, including a rundown on the events and activities. This month Thor Janson brings us Getting High in Ixchiguan, and he means […]

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Por el Amor de Milo

Milo y su familia celebran su cumpleaños.

El llego a mi vida una tarde de verano mientras estaba en el trabajo. Lo llevaban escondido debajo de una chumpa. Al verlo fue amor a primera vista. Se miraba tan tierno y lloriqueaba porque tenia frio. Nunca me imagine que este pequeno labrador amarillo de dos meses iba a llegar a ser mi mejor compania y mi inspiracion. Despues […]

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A Museum for Kids

Supervised exhibits include paper making, recycling, giant bubbles and even a micro city.

El Museo de los Niños, Zone 13, Guatemala City If the motto of most museums seems to be: “Look but don’t touch,” el Museo de los Niños in Guatemala City is the other extreme. Located in Zone 13, the center opened in February 2000 and has since welcomed more than 1.5 million schoolchildren from all over Guatemala. Through an assortment […]

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Creepy Carp Haunt the Lake

Creepy Carp Haunt the Lake

As if the ingress of bully bass to Lake Atitlán were not bad enough (see Revue August 2011, Lake Views, page 88), another alien may be even more harmful. At least since 2002, carp of the genus Cyprinus have been appearing in fishermen’s trawling nets. No one knows when they got there, nor what to do about them. “They have […]

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Unicorn Hunting

A photographic quest to the upper cloud forest on Atitlán Volcano’s southern flank in search of the rare and elusive

A photographic quest to the upper cloud forest on Atitlán Volcano’s southern flank in search of the rare and elusive Oreophasis derbianus I reached for my cell phone to turn off the alarm: 12:30 a.m., time to get started. I lit the stove and put some water on for coffee. A few minutes later there was a knock on my […]

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The Gallon Jug Rainforest

The ornate hawk-eagle, the most beautiful eagle on Earth

After an expedition to the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, I was returning to Guatemala recently only to be greeted at the border by a glitch in the system and a real-life Catch-22. A new regulation says foreign-plated vehicles have to stay out of Guatemala for 90 days while the driver is welcome to return. So, having some time on my […]

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Fotokids Anniversary

Fotokis 20th Anniversary

Twenty years of tackling poverty through photography Surrounded by 40 acres of toxic garbage, in the middle of Central America’s largest and most dangerous landfill, isn’t exactly where most people gain inspiration. However, for ex-Reuters photojournalist Nancy McGirr, the smell of burning plastic, combined with the sight of cardboard houses and gardens of sewage, is where Fotokids first began. Originally […]

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The Heart of the Mayan World

Walter Fischer, INGUAT

A candid chat with INGUAT’s Walter Fischer Imagine a place with volcanoes and mountains, jungles and deserts, white sands and black beaches … but while you and I have already discovered the beauty of Guatemala, the majority of the world remains oblivious. INGUAT, the country’s tourism board, has embarked on a 10-year campaign to increase tourism in the country at […]

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Rabin Ajau: Daughter of the King

Contestants from last year’s Rabin Ajau. The focus of the pageant is on spiritual beauty, oratory and  cultural knowledge. Additional criteria include grace, charm, carriage, sincerity and intelligence.

Cobán’s annual festival includes a spectacular traditional pageant It was a cool July afternoon and the cheepy cheepy (misting rain) was refreshing the land when we arrived in Cobán, the capital of Alta Verapaz Department. The last week in July is when Cobán celebrates its annual festival with parades, rodeos, expositions, fairs and one of the most wonderful cultural events […]

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Paseo de La Sexta, Zone 1

Restoration brings new life to an old district Last year, the municipality of Guatemala City undertook a project to conserve and revitalize the city’s heritage, and it started with La Sexta Avenida, Zone 1: the backbone of el centro histórico. Historically, La Sexta was the fashion capital of Guatemala—the place to see and be seen—with shops selling luxury goods and […]

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Ex-Guerilla Entrepreneurship

The calm (and coffee) after the storm: Santa Anita La Unión Rebels are on the move in Libya, Egyptians are overhauling their constitution and Tunisians unseated a multi-decade dictator, but reading about it in Guatemala’s relative tranquility makes it easy to forget that the same turmoil engulfed Guatemala not long ago. A history of the 36-year civil war and what […]

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Finca Filadelfia

A luxury getaway on a coffee plantation by Tanya Hughes “The hardest part is stepping off the edge,” my canopy-tour guide said encouragingly. Dubiously, I peered over the 40-foot drop. After a couple of deep breaths I took that step and I was flying through the air, held securely in place by my harness. Both youngsters and adults can line […]

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Clean Sweep

Before the brooms make it to market to be sold, numerous labor-intensive steps are involved.

Hand crafting the not-so-simple palm frond broom text and photos by Kathy Rousso Palma real (royal palm) grows in Guatemala’s hot climatic regions, and many products can be made from the fronds of this tree. Custom dictates that the harvest takes place three days before the full moon, after which the fronds are dried and split into strips. The outer […]

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Maximón ceremony in San Lucas Tolimán by Thor Janson

Mayan Patron Saint is an enigma text and photos by Thor Janson www.bushmanollie.com There is not a town or village in the entire Mayan Highlands where the presence of Maximón is not being asserted. Although the guide books for many years have only listed three Maximón shrines—San Andrés Itzapa, Zunil and Santiago Atitlán—there are literally thousands of Maximón temples and […]

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Quetzaltenango central park by Harry Díaz

Guatemala’s second (and maybe best) city written by Blake Nelson I spent my first year out of college teaching in Puerto Cortés, Honduras, and a typical conversation went like this: LOCAL: Do you like living here? ME: I love it! LOCAL: Really? I don’t. ME: Let’s change the subject! After to moving to Quetzaltenango (commonly known as Xela, from the […]

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Safe Passage

One volunteer’s overwhelming experience serving in the city dump photo by Joseph del Conzo

One volunteer’s overwhelming experience serving in the city dump written by Hannah Wallace Bowman Every day at 7:15 a.m., a bleary-eyed group of Westerners gathers on the pavement outside La Antigua Guatemala’s San Francisco Church. Clutching banana bread and paper cups of steaming coffee, they soak up the early morning sun. Preparing to make their way into one of the […]

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The Power of Guatemalan Roses

In May, the fancy for mothers turns to roses—which have more than meets the eye or nose. Not all plants sport flowers, but those that do use them to mate with others of their species. Appropriately, we use them to hail and express love, especially in February and May. Roses in particular are favored: red and burgundy roses in the […]

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Trogon Hunting in the Cucurucho Cloud Forest

Birdwatching and hiking at El Pilar, Antigua’s little-known nature reserve written by Kate Witt photos: Thor Janson We hop out of the 4×4 truck to finish our ascent, cool in the luscious cover of the mountain vegetation until we reach the peak, a refreshing 10-minute hike. The view was incredible—I was astounded to see Lake Amatitlán with a spread of […]

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Magic Moments

Mayan wedding globe

‘I Do, Guatemala’ creates dream weddings amid Antigua’s romantic settings With volcanic backdrops, a signature arch, cobblestone streets and centuries-old ruins, La Antigua Guatemala couldn’t be more picturesque. Diana Sciarrillo of Guatemala City and colleague Romie Black of Atlanta (USA) want those and other images unique to Guatemala in wedding albums around the world. So last year they started “I […]

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Discovering the Mermaids

Author Janson makes friends with a young manatee

Once seen in the hundreds and even thousands, manatees are now only found in isolated enclaves along American coasts. text and photos by Thor Janson Three months after Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean, on Jan. 9, 1493, the ship’s log recorded: “On the previous day when the Admiral went to the Rio del Oro he saw three mermaids which rose […]

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Ceiba pentandra

Sacred tree for Classic Maya, national tree for Guatemala today by Dr. Nicholas M. Hellmuth Look at the sacred ceiba tree and you may notice that its spines resemble the round bumps that the Maya incorporated on their incense burners, cache vessels and urns. Notice the pattern of conical, spine-like protuberances on these thousand-year-old ceramic vessels. You get the same […]

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Backstory on the restoration of the Palace of the Captains General in La Antigua

The palace was demolished by Captain General Martín de Mayorga after 1773. In fact, Mayorga got a royal decree to demolish the entire city after the earthquakes of 1773 but no one paid much attention to it. He did, however, demolish a great part of the palace, trying to move the large stone columns. The palace was rebuilt in the 1890s.

Very few of the buildings in Antigua have original plans. This 1763 plan (first floor) was found at the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain. The description is fascinating but may have actually been a proposal for the approval of the building permit by Luis Diez de Navarro, a Spanish engineer who was in charge of the new structure which was completed in 1764.

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