Notes and photos from CX Traveler Lois Brassart
Time slows down to encourage savoring the delights of Guatemala
Arrived as strangers left as friends
You would never know Guatemala is the second most improvised country in the Western Hemisphere. Certainly there are signs of poverty, however the generosity of spirit and welcoming smiles overcome the initial heartache
The Arch of Santa Catalina was originally built as a bridge so the nuns could cross the street without leaving their cloistered life. One of the most recognizable monuments in Guatemala and it frames volcanoes.
Reenactments of the last days of Jesus through on-going processions carrying life-like images of his last days. Roman centurions riding horses and on foot. Theatrical dramatization of Jesus’ last days, with up to 7,000 male and female float procession carriers, some caring more than once during the day or week. People attend every church procession. Power of the brotherhood.
A land of contrasts, people filled with warmth, humor and lots of family interactions filled with love. The top 44 families are have most of the wealth … Hope at some point there is better distribution.
Glimpses of Guatemala
- Strong testament of faith Â
- Independent vendors selling food day and night — the original food carts
- Church bells
- ‘Cannon fire’ from churches
- Roses grown while, later dyed to various colours…red, yellow, blue … whatever colour your heart desires
- Slow down in the land of speed bumpsÂ Â
- Bumpy cobble stone roads…very uneven cobblestone roads…tough to walk on cobble stone roads
- Timeless —- odors of incense Â
- Scent of crushed pine needles
- Scents of coffee flowers— each flower will becomes a coffee bean
- Scents of fresh brewed coffee
- Scents of chocolate–first cultivated in the heart of Mayan world
- World famous — Intricate carpet designs made of sawdust, flowers, sand
- Kaffee Fernando’s chocolate scented carpet
- Chocolate covered Kakao beans
- Visual explosion of purple, carpets, flowers, tradition dress
- Erupting volcanoes
- Tastes chile, pat, pat, pat of the hand made tortillas, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, eggplant, squash ravioli, chocolate, desserts, coffee, hot chocolate, chocolate cover cacao beans
- Traditional weaving patterns, indigenous textile experts, blouses, skirts, baskets, table covers, recycled bags made of traditional blouses and skirts
- Silversmith….beautiful designs, wonderful family micro business
- Fruit wine — our batch!Â ready in December
- Friendship Bridge–micro-loans generate income, enhance self esteem, women bonding, women laughing, women sharing—–sharing workloads, stories, skills, ideas
- Communal washing stations…such HARD WORK!
- Coffee grown under dense shade trees
- Coffee rust
- Chopin’s funeral music
- Maximon – mixture of pagan and Christian beliefs Â
- Colourful cemetery in Chichicastenang
- San Juan La Laguna, murals, natural dies, recycling plastic bottles, stopping the army and the rebels, creating the table cover on which the peace accord was signed…..SURVIVING
- The horror of war remembered from not so long ago
- The power of the Church – catholic and evangelical.