Museo de Santiago

Entry hall of the Museo de Santiago, a large bust of Pedro de Alvarado looks down on two 18th century howitzers; behind are six-gauge wall guns.

text and photos by Ira Lewis The Museo de Santiago de los Caballeros in La Antigua Guatemala is a must see. It’s among several museums and many churches and ruins in La Antigua, but most people miss it, even though it is located right on the fringe of Central Park. Although under-funded and in need of some upkeep, the museum […]

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A Journey through Sweet Waters

Río Dulce, Guatemala (photo: Scott Drennan)

Written by Gregory Kipling photo: Scott Drennan Exploring Río Dulce Past and Present Measuring a mere 42 kilometers from source to mouth, Río Dulce is hardly one of Central America’s great waterways. However, despite its small size the river has attracted a great deal of attention over the past 500 years. Conquistadors, scientists, pirates and adventurers have all passed through […]

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Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope has drilled several water wells in the mountains near Jalapa

Wells of Hope is a non-denominational group founded on Christian principles by Ted Vander Zalm and his wife Miriam in 2004. It is a team of numerous individuals with roots in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. Wells of Hope is a program or offshoot of The Warehouse of Hope. After working from tents for a couple of years, Wells of […]

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Orchids: The colors of my land

by Bernd Martin Colors enhance our emotions and often warm our hearts with their beauty. Coming in an array of wonderful colors, orchids embrace the whole spectrum of the rainbow. An orchid is a special gift to ourselves and to others. Guatemala, the land of eternal spring, has approximately 1,000 species of orchids. Nearly everybody in Guatemala cultivates orchids in […]

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The Eyes of Violeta

Violeta Marroquín at exhibition

Inauguration Wednesday, 4th-7:30pm; featuring paintings on silk by Violeta Marroquín at the Antigua Center, 7a calle poniente #11, La Antigua Guatemala Violeta Marroquín, born in 1976 in Guatemala City, started painting at an early age. As a child she was educated in the arts, but at the university level she chose to study communications. In November 2002, Violeta moved to […]

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Festival Atitlán

Ranferí Aguilar and Hacedor de Lluvia (Rain Maker)

March is coming, time for Festival Atitlán. On March 14, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Santiago Atitlán will once again host this annual alternative cultural event featuring live music and arts. Since 2001, there have been six festivals, each one more interesting than the last. Proceeds from the past four festivals have been donated to help rebuild Hospitalito Atitlán, which was destroyed by mudslides from Hurricane Stan in 2005.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Another Fabulous Fruit: Green Mango

Green Mango

Scholars believe Buddhist monks took mangoes on voyages from Asia to Persia in the Fourth and Fifth centuries B.C., and that the Persians subsequently took them to Africa in the 10th century. From there the Portuguese introduced them to Brazil during its 16th century colonization of the New World. And from Brazil the mango spread to Central America. Although there […]

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Humane Society International Grant to Support Wildlife Habitat Protection Work in Central America

WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2008) – Humane Society International (HSI) signed a grant with the U.S. Department of State last week for $396,000 to continue work on wildlife habitat protection in Central America. The grant will support the production of sustainable cacao, which is grown on small farms that also provide valuable wildlife habitat for animals such as woodpeckers, sloths, and […]

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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. […]

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Birthday Parties

Birthday cake face (photo: Dwight Wayne Coop)

My sons are still in their cavity-prone years, so I attended 19 birthday parties last year—three for my boys and 16 for their playmates. Each had its odd turn or twist. To avoid the charge of ethnocentrism, I’ll admit here that Central Americans do no worse a job of honoring their birthday boys and girls than do parents in the […]

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Avoiding vs Evading

Written by Steven Pittser A few tips on U.S. taxpaying and IRA accounts “I haven’t filed taxes for six years— ever since I’ve been down here.” That was the comment from my co-expat from the States, who had just bought me a drink at my favorite bar in La Antigua Guatemala. “I have had income every one of those years, […]

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