So I'll be down here for 27 months. I have lots of wall space and would love to receive some postcards from you back home. If you send me a postcard:

1) I'll be very happy, 2) I'll show it to everyone that comes to my apartment, 3) I'll send you a postcard, 4) You can be 100% sure that I won't forget who you are during my time here.







Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guatemala


Since getting to Honduras, I haven’t traveled as much as I would've expected to be traveling. Recently, I went to Guatemala for a few days with some other friends from PC (TJ, Mark, David, Kristi). Mark’s friend Lance also flew in from the states so we had a good sized group. I put up pics of the trip on Facebook (check them out here).

Due to lots of rain, clouds, and mudslides, I ended the trip a few days early. Despite only being there a few days and the rain, clouds, and getting stomach sick, it was an awesome time. Guatemala is so so nice. This time I was in Panajachel (on the Lake Atitlan) and Antigua.  I plan on going back for a couple of weeks in either January or February. I want to see a few more places and the rainy season will be over by then.


Panajachel. Can see some of the damage from the rains and some volcanoes in the background

There were a lot of Mayans in the areas where we went. Many of them still dress in their traditional clothes and speak Quiche (one of 22 Mayan languages. I believe almost all of them speak Spanish as well because it’s the language they use in school). We were in very touristy areas, so what we saw probably doesn’t reflect how most of Guatemala is. People that we encountered were very friendly. When asking for directions or about anything to someone on the street they always seemed eager to help us. Another thing that stuck out to me was that a lot of people were smiling.


Family getting ready to play music
The markets in the two cities I was in were incredible. In Antigua, there is a market full of artesania and a market with meats, fresh produce, spices, places to eat, food and many other random things. It seems that Guatemala produces more than Honduras in terms of fruits and veggies, there was quite an awesome selection there. In Panajachel, they also had lots of artesania and a million people trying to sell you things. It’s low season so was a bit easier to bargain prices down, even at the hotels.


The Artesania Market in Antigua

A lot of foreigners live in Panajachel and Antigua. Some that we talked to are new there while others have been there for 10, 15, even 20 years. I could see myself spending an extended period of time there sometime in the future, but who knows what will happen. A few people had one thing in common that they said, it goes something along the lines of “We make less money here, but are much happier and have lots of free time.” In a beautiful country where a little bit of money can get you a long way, I can only imagine.

Below are a few more pictures from the trip (which can also be found in the link above).



The rest of the crew

Chicken Buses in Guatemala are awesome

Everyone very happy with their falafel and shwarma

At Lago Atitlan. The view is so-so compared to if it would've been clear skies.

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