Inland Guatemala

We took an inland trip to the highlands, the old 3rd colonial capital of Antigua, Panajachel on Lake Atitlan and to the Indian market of Chichicastinago. Our excursion was to be a test of endurance as we chose the ‘chicken bus’ as opposed to an organized tour.

Antiqua Guatemala

  There are over 53 volcanoes in Guatemala.  Fortunately only three are active.    Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes and sits at an elevation of 6,000 feet.  The air was cool and refreshing after the hot humid temperatures of the Rio.   It is among the oldest and most beautiful cities in the Americas with its majestic setting, cobblestone streets, crumbling ruins from the 1773 earthquake  now rebuilt retaining its traditional character. 

                   Domino’s Pizza                        Burger King                                 Local cuisine

Lake Atitlan Panahajal Guatemala

Panahajal rests on the beautiful Lake Atitlan even higher among huge pines and again surrounded by volcanoes. Known also as Gringotenango due to the hold over of hippies from the 60’s and 70’s it is a mix of different cultures, cuisine’s, and lifestyles.

Street and Markets Panahajal Guatemala

 One interesting advance the gringo’s have brought is big screen TV’s and video’s. Set up in individual private locked rooms you can rent the latest video’s, relax on a couch and watch a large choice of movies for the equivalent of about $1.50. It was here we learned of the terrorist attacks on the USA Sept. 11 so the TV’s were used to watch CNN.
                                            Market day in Chichicastinago Guatemala
Chichicastinago was an even more interesting mix of purebred Mayan Indians who make up half of Guatemala’s population. They come in from the central highlands each wearing a particular pattern of cloth and style of ornamentation typical of each individual village. They hand weave their own cloth and spend months hand-embroidering their clothes that they wear every day while working in the fields or shopping in the marketplace just as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years.

Indians of Guatemala wearing styles of individual village

Almost every women has a bundle on her head or a baby on her back wrapped in more brightly
colored hand-woven cloth.

The men are seen carrying enormous loads in woven reed baskets on their backs suspended from leather straps around the forehead in Mayan fashion. We also had a chance to observe the vast amounts of cultivated land and lifestyle of the people. Although their lives seem very poor they are rich in agriculture growing everything form onions, cauliflower and broccoli to apples, bananas and watermelons.

Meeting cruisers Mike and Allison Barton of  s/vDreamer in Chi Chi and enjoying breakfast with them  in a local Guatemalan home