Where to Stay
During my time in Antigua, I stayed Hotel Mesón del Valle on the South side of town which is a bit quieter. Hotel Meson del Valle is one of twelves hotels operated by Antigua Hotel Solutions. I didn’t know this at the time of booking, but think it is good to know if hotels rooms are booked during peak times like Easter. Continue reading “Top Things to Do in Antigua”
The Parks, Churches and Ruins of Antigua
Antigua, located in the central highlands of Guatemala, was settled as the third capital of Guatemala in 1543 by Spanish conquistadors after indigenous uprisings took place in the first capital and after a volcano destroyed the second capital over a 20 year time period. Upon suffering from multiple earthquakes and severe destruction in 1773, the capital was ordered to move to Guatemala City by the Spanish Crown.
During its time as capital, Antigua became home to many religious orders that constructed several churches and convents near the main square and parks. As a result of the earthquakes, the colonial city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features many ruins as well. Famous for its Spanish Baroque influenced architecture, Antigua is a wonderful place to visit in Guatemala. Continue reading “Antigua’s Parks, Churches, and Ruins”
Antigua’s Easter Celebration
I went to Antigua, Guatemala for a volunteer trip that took place just before Easter. After learning Antigua holds the largest Easter celebration in the world which commemorates the Passion, the Crucifix and the Resurrection of Jesus, I extended my trip five days in order to see the elaborate carpets and processions.
The festivities come from an Andalusian tradition brought over by the Spanish missionaries in the 16th Century. While processions take place every Sunday of lent, the majority of the activities take place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Continue reading “World’s Largest Easter Celebration”
Hiking Guatemala’s Volcanoes
There are a handful dormant and active volcanoes around Antigua, Guatemala. A volcano can be seen from almost any vantage point in the city. The four volcanoes surrounding Antigua are Volcán de Agua, Volcán Fuego, Volcán Acatenango, and Volcán Pacaya. Continue reading “Pacaya Volcano by Morning, Hobbitenango by Afternoon”
Transportation to Lake Atitlán
After working on the Bottle School, I spent the night in Antigua before getting transportation to Lake Atitlán. I was in Guatemala for the busiest season at Easter, but I was able to get transportation easily with the help of my hotel, La Casa del Mundo, located between the towns of El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz La Laguna on the edge of the lake. If they couldn’t have helped me, the hotel in which I was staying in Antigua, Hotel San Jorge, would have helped me. It seems to be common for each hotel to offer excursions and transportation. I was a little concerned about not reserving a space in advance, but it didn’t seem to be a problem, at least not for one person. Continue reading “Two Days at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala”
The Bottle School in Los Potrerillos
Our final day at the school was really long, but wonderful. On the second day, not as many people were there and of the kids who were there the girls were more interested in tying bottles while the boys were more interested in kicking the soccer ball. Continue reading “Building a Bottle School in Los Potrerillos, Guatemala (Day 3)”
The Cemetery in San Martín Jilotepeque
We started today by touring the cemetery next door to our hotel in San Martín Jilotepeque. Graves dated back to the 1800’s. I love all the colors of the mausoleums. Mausoleums painted in colors entomb Mayans, while those painted in all white, entomb Catholic. A combination of white and color constitutes a grave for a mixed person. There were quite a few colored graves in this community, home to 87% indigenous people. Continue reading “Visiting Chwa Nima Ab’aj also known as the Ruins of Mixco Viejo”