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The week of Semana Santa (“Holy Week”) is considered the most important cultural and religious event in all of Guatemala. Semana Santa has a long, rich history, which began over 400 years ago as Catholicism spread throughout Guatemala due to the Spanish Conquistadors. Today, Semana Santa can be viewed throughout all of Guatemala, however, there is no city more important during this sacred week than Antigua. It can be argued that Antigua has perhaps the largest, most traditional and famous Holy Weeks in the world. Thousands of tourists flock to Antigua during Semana Santa to witness the spectacular religious processions, alfombras (“carpets”), fabulous floats and vigils. It is said to be an experience of a lifetime.
Unfortunately my trip was timed a month too early. The height of Semana Santa happens the week before Easter. However, little did I know that smaller scale celebrations start on Ash Wednesday at…
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I have never before seen such an enormous symphony of color as I did in Guatemala. The past Spanish colonial influence combined with the vivid Mayan culture and tradition of brilliant colors reflect deeply throughout Guatemala, especially in the Highlands. Xela is the heart of the Mayan culture and community. If you take a walk around her lovely, hilly streets you will be reminded of her past, present and future. You can see it reflected in the lovely colors of the buildings. Some of which are on their fourth generation of color.
Come….take a walk with me through the streets of Xela and experience all the joy that color can bring to the soul.
Looking up to the hills. A typical street in Xela lined in ancient foot-burning cobblestones and a gorgeous splash of color.
From golden yellows to turquoise blues the colors never cease to inspire me and…
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View of Xela from the school roof.
I woke up to the sound of the eternally barking dog outside my window, wondering for a moment where on earth I was. I checked my cheap plastic travel watch and it read 6:50 am. The sun had yet to light up my bedroom and I was exhausted after a fitful night’s sleep. I tossed and turned, continually stuffed in my ear plugs and cranked my white noise up yet nothing seemed to help drown out the symphony of noise from the Guatemalan city life. Unfortunately I’ve always been a light sleeper which got worse after I became a mother. I swear I sleep with one eye open, listening throughout the darkness of the night for someone to call my name.
My first day at Spanish school was in a little over an hour and I was so tired I had no idea…
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I landed in Guatemala City on an excessively windy day on Sunday, March 4th. After a fitful night’s sleep at a mediocre airport hotel I was ready to leave Houston and finally continue my way south to Guatemala. I had the usual feelings of excitement and anticipation which I always get before I land in a new country and enter into the mayhem it brings. The whole bag of usual mixed thoughts raced across my mind.
What would it be like? Would I enjoy my stay there? Would I understand and be able to communicate in my broken Spanish? Would I be safe? Would I get sick? Would my ride be there as expected, waiting for me outside the baggage claim? Would the bus ride suck?
You would think that a seasoned traveler would get over these worry wart antics but it never seems to fail. I’m always a…
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