National Orchid Exposition on Feb 3-6

February 3-6 The Guatemala Orchid Association presents the XXXVII National Orchid Exposition, featuring a colorful array of orchids and informative workshops, from Feb. 3-6 in Guatemala City. The event will be at Cervecería Centroamericana, Salón José Mariano Arzú Castillo, 3 ave. 17-16, z. 2. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is Q25. Guatemala, the Land of Eternal Spring, […]

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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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Butterfly by Thor Janson

Sapphires sparkle all around you in Guatemala. Unlike some other gems that must be searched out, sapphires are overhead, underfoot, all around. You can easily bathe in deep, rich pools of sapphire. No, not the imported jewelry gems found in stores, but rather in nature throughout this “land of eternal spring.” The Pacific and Caribbean coasts flanking Mesoamerica offer expanses […]

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Oliver Thornwhistle on—Araucaria

I feel fortunate that my vocation offers me low-altitude air travel to the four corners of Guatemala. When I’m in a helicopter or small plane, or even at a window on an upper floor of a Zone 10 high rise in Guatemala City, I invariably carry away two impressions: Quauhtlemallan, from the 16th century Nahualt for “land of trees,” is […]

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Psychology and Equestrian Sports

written by Asa Bjorklund and Judith Gibbons photos by Asa Bjorklund Have you ever “choked” in the face of an important competition? Many athletes have panicked and become paralyzed in the arena, even to the point of giving up sports they really liked. In June, Sandy Venneman, psychology professor and equestrian, visited Club Ecuestre La Ronda in Finca Azotea in […]

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Quetzal (photo: Thor Janson)

Yes, emeralds are found in our jewelry stores, but only imported gems. Emerald, however, is a rich sight in the Highlands of Guatemala, especially now with the rainy season polishing the leaves and enriching the grasses. And yes, we’ve our own emerald stones too, the deep imperial of Guatemala’s very special jadeite jewelry, but it’s the deep green tones of […]

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Echoes of Fine Colonial Homes

More than beautiful stone mansions, these were homes of real people with real lives, joys, and sorrows. In Michener’s Poland (1983), a professor who clung to life in a concentration camp pleaded, “Rebuild! Rebuild!” as “the most important thing to do when this nightmare ends…an act of faith, an act of commitment to the future…a testimony to the greatness we […]

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Oliver Thornwhistle On—Night & Day

There is beauty and mystery in your garden around the clock written by S.C. Johnson Day Time You have a pretty good idea of what is going on in your daytime garden, since every day you can watch the main attractions. They include hummingbirds and butterflies, lured by the modern trend of planting hummingbird and butterfly “friendly” plants and flowers. […]

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A family from San Miguel Dueñas celebrating their new home

Building new lives in Guatemala written by Brian Kirkup Constru Casa was founded in 2004, and by the end of 2010 we hope to have built our 400th home. The houses are basic but effective, consisting of three rooms, concrete walls, a metal roof, a concrete floor, a shower and a toilet. The cost of the house to the family […]

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How well do you know Chapín Spanish?

(Ser) Pura lata:

I certainly didn’t expect to get a free lesson of what I call Chapiñol, it is maybe 50 percent Spanish and 50 percent Chapinismos. His name was Miguel and he started throwing phrases like: tengo un gran clavo or me echan el muerto. I simply replied yes and/or no, but in truth I had no idea what he was talking about, “I have a big nail” What ???

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Oliver Thornwhistle On—Luciérnagas


Here come Guatemala’s Fireflies: It must be May, or is it? written by S.C. Johnson All seafarers know the importance of light, as in lighthouse or beacon. Before GPS, charts showed lights sequences, say one short and two long flashes of lights followed by darkness, and if the navigator spotted the right sequence, he knew where he was. Lighthouses were […]

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Oliver Thornwhistle On Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea Sampler (photo Rudy Girón/AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com)

written by S.C. Johnson Sometime, before my time, I believe it was in the 1930s when minds were preoccupied with the Great Depression, everybody had to have a national or a state flower. Now mostly, nobody even knows what they are. I was at a British pub quiz night recently and our Swedish team member had no idea what the […]

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The Objective Virtues of Guatemalan Coffee

One criticism of columnists is that too often, we cover old ground. When we run out of real ideas, we attempt to build bridges to Readerland on rainy, or writer’s-blocked, days with off-the-shelf topics. I have read more than one column about coffee, for instance. Everyone has experience with coffee, so it is as safe a topic as you can […]

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El Tesoro de El Calvario

Patrimonio de La Antigua Guatemala This book was produced in order to promote the rescue and appreciation of the Ermita de El Calvario at La Antigua Guatemala. It is dedicated to Santo Hermano Pedro who lived in the Ermita and was canonized in July 2002. Spanish language, 156 pages, color plus black and white photographs, fully indexed; cover water color […]

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Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez

Artist Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez stands with her latest mural, “…so you can compare the size with an average person.” The painting now hangs in the baptistery of the Cathedral of Santa Cruz del Quiché, the second of her works there and the 18th mural she has donated to Guatemala churches. At five square meters, this is among her smaller […]

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Festival Atitlán

The Festival Atitlán returns for its 9th year, once again celebrating springtime with music, dance, theatre, graphic art displays and workshops, plus a great kid section, and a promise of a beautiful day with family and friends outdoors on the shores of Lake Atitlán. As is the custom, the proceeds are donated to a local good works project. In the […]

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Be My Valentine

Our town of La Antigua and the Guatemalan Highlands send valentines to their lovers this month through each of the senses. Elegant long-stemmed red roses go out from local growers to all Europe and the Americas, and the roses not exported fill the markets for local romantics. Rich red bougainvillea vines spill over the white walls, dainty red fuchsia hang […]

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Joy to the World

An evening of piano music with Roman Rudnytsky Tuesday, December 8, 7:00 p.m. Teatro Dick Smith, IGA, ruta 1, 4-05, zone 4, Guatemala City Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Admission free Roman Rudnytsky is an American concert pianist of Ukrainian background and a graduate of the world-renowned Juilliard School for music, dance, and drama, in New York. As of 2009, […]

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FÚTBOL: Barrio Norte Style

text and photos by Dorothy Kethler Las Manos (The Hands), Los Cuates (Buddies), Talleres (Metal Workers), Areneros (Sand Diggers), Las Muñecas (The Dolls), Los Dragones (The Dragons), these are a few of the 36 soccer teams participating in the Barrio Norte Soccer Project. Every Saturday and Sunday the raucous cheers and thuds of the games can be heard throughout the […]

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The Night Before Navidad

‘‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring ¡Caramba! ¿Qué pasa? Los niños were tucked away in their camas,
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas, 
While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado,
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado, 
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos. […]

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Agua y Fuego Fires Up Eco-Tourism on Ometepe

Nicaraguan ultra-marathon not for the faint of heart… literally. One word sums it up: extreme. A new ultra-marathon in Nicaragua is drawing the most audacious of athletes to its volcanic island of Ometepe. Fuego y Agua 100k and 50k is Isla de Ometepe’s first-ever racing event, challenging true adventure seekers to summit not one, but two looming volcanoes … by […]

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