At the end of the Rainbow Violet

Violet is the color at the bottom of the rainbow’s arc, the color of royalty, bishops, and Lent, on Newton’s color wheel with red and green. Violet was one of eight colors in the first crayon boxes, though today violet is demoted and found only in the largest boxes. Violet is sweet perfume, and sometimes violet flowers are a touch […]

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Pitaya flower (photo by Thor Janson )

Pearls are scattered across this favored country, ready for your discovery without your needing to bother getting wet or even opening an oyster. Our pearls can be found along roadways, wildflowers of translucent white that bloom most of the year, and in our gardens, from tiny white buttons of blossoms to creamy white roses. Pearls glisten on our cobbled streets […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Pink

Pink sunset over Lake Atitlán (photo: Harris and Goller/

Pink has a reputation as a wimpy color, sort of weak and watery. You wouldn’t think pink could stand up strong and proud against the deep blues, rich greens, bright yellows and striking reds of the Guatemalan palette. Even by using the fancier French name rosé, pink wine is considered, well, sissy. Pink bows look cute on little girls, but wouldn’t be a grown-up’s color. Pink roses don’t seem […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Semana Santa

Semana Santa (photo: leonel mijangos/

Colorful carpets, thumping bands, pungent odors, rich tastes, thick crowds—through the Lenten season, into Palm Sunday and Semana Santa, Holy Week, all five senses are overwhelmed in every Guatemalan city and village, but nowhere more than in La Antigua Guatemala with its colonial traditions and frequent processions. Intricate floral designs, forming colorful alfombras, carpets, are most elaborate on Good Friday […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Red

Red Flowers (photo: Smith and Riegel)

Just a little dab of red will do you, if you’re trying to put the colors of Guatemala on canvas. You’d need lots of variations of blues, greens, and browns to capture the subtle shades of this country’s glorious Highlands, jungles and coastlines. Your pallet needs only a bit of red. But don’t forget the red, as it’s essential.  Red can be frustrating, such as a red […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Yellow

Yellow corn (photo Harris & Goller/

Butter yellow. Flowers in the fields after the rains, corn ground to a smooth masa, cotton-dyed yellow to weave into blouses with multicolored designs on the yellow base, rich yellow bougainvillea and shrimp flowers spilling over white walls, and an occasional flash of a finch flying after a bug for lunch. Yellow is important on the Guatemalan palette. Yellow may […]

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