World’s Largest Easter Celebration

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”

Two Days at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

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”

Visiting Chwa Nima Ab’aj also known as the Ruins of Mixco Viejo

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”

Building a Bottle School in Los Potrerillos (Day 2)

Hotel Posada de Don José in San Martín Jilotepeque

We were so busy and had such a long day yesterday that today was the first day we could hardly even check out the hotel or see San Martín Jilotepeque.  The Hotel Posada de Don José in San Martín Jilotepeque was suitable for the area.  The outside was nicely painted and adorned with flower boxes.  The two floors of hotel rooms lined either side of an indoor driveway where the hotel owners parked their cars. Continue reading “Building a Bottle School in Los Potrerillos (Day 2)”

clothes for sale

A Day in Chichicastenango, Guatemala

A Tour of Chichicastenango

Today I took a tour to Chichicastenango.  It was a bit of a drive from Guatemala City and originally wasn’t in my plan. But it only cost me $15 more to do the whole tour than it did just to get to Antigua which is where I needed to be by dinner time for our volunteer project introductions.

Leaving Guatemala City

Mario picked me up at 5am.  As we exited the city on the four-lane road with a median, traffic was already mounting.  One of our two lanes was marked off by cones.  It wasn’t long before I saw cars driving on our side of the street toward us.  I gathered that this is the way Guatemala creates an HOV lane?  I’m not sure. Continue reading “A Day in Chichicastenango, Guatemala”

National Palace in Guatemala City

A Day in Guatemala City

Getting to Guatemala City

My flights to Guatemala were uneventful with the exception of the AA gate agent requesting me to insert my bag into the size. After it went in, she said it didn’t fit because I pushed it.  I looked at her and said, “I’ve traveled around the world with this bag.”

I find this annoying on two accounts. First the sizer is much smaller than the overhead bin for an A300 (there was at least 2 inches to spare when I placed my bag above my seat). Second, they seem to target tourists. For long distance flights, I dress in long cotton pants and a cotton shirt for comfort. Because I wasn’t donning a business suit, I qualified for harassment as did my seat mates.   Continue reading “A Day in Guatemala City”