A New History for La Antigua Guatemala

history Antigua Guatemala

With the recent “discovery” of the “El Libro Segundo del Cabildo (1530-1541) de Santiago de Guatemala,” historians lit up with enthusiasm! Guatemala’s historians continue to rewrite the past. With many libraries and collections now available in digital form, we not only have access to more information but word has it that the archbishop of Guatemala has made the church’s archives […]

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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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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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Why do we have “mermaids” in La Antigua Guatemala?

Mermaids appear in literature much after the fountain in Central Park was built by Diego de Porres in 1738. While today we might think of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (1836), the fountain clearly pre-dates the fairytale. In using the Spanish word “sirenas,” we find sirens originally in Greek mythology that are often portrayed in later folklore as mermaid-like […]

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Guatemala City—The Young Capital

A late bloomer of Latin America written by David Jickling Among Latin American capitals, Guatemala City is a later comer. Most of the major cities of Spanish America were founded in the 16th century, within a hundred years after the arrival of the Spanish. In contrast, Guatemala City was established at the end of the 18th century after the destruction […]

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Some Guatemalan Cultural Firsts

Guatemala is home to many surprising precedents, for better or worse. Guatemala is the oldest country in the Americas, though not the oldest republic. Civilization, kindled here some 43 centuries ago, is Guatemala’s loftiest precedent. Ancient Guatemalans were the first peoples in the Americas known to engineer a sophisticated water-pressure system. They may have been the first in the world […]

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