Messengers in the Wind

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

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

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

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

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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