The Beauty of Guatemala

The beauty of Guatemala is something to celebrate.  In spite of the fact that some negative press has come out of Guatemala lately and that “bad news” seems to sell more than “good news, here’s some positive news from that country of the “land of eternal spring.”  This is a wonderful story from first time visitors, Richard and Nancy Spahr regarding their recent trip to that beautiful and multi-ecosystem country of Guatemala:

We spent eleven awesome days in Guatemala, a country with so much to offer in beauty, culture, great weather and wonderful people.  Our experience was totally positive and we will definitely be going back [probably regularly during winter].  It’s also very affordable for vacationing as well as residing.  Lots of folks we met from the US, Canada and Europe call it home year round.

Sunrise VIew of Lake Atitlan from Villa Sumaya Richard Spahr

Sunrise VIew of Lake Atitlan from Villa Sumaya
Richard Spahr

We spent most of our time at Lake Atitlan at an amazing retreat called Villa Sumaya right on the lake. Like most of the towns around Lake Atitlan, you can only get there by boat.  It was an inspiring and magical place.  We toured and shopped at Panajachel just a ten minute boat ride away.  There are public and private water taxis frequently stopping around the lake, so it’s easy to get around.

Lake Atitlan Guatemala Richard Spahr

Lake Atitlan Guatemala
Richard Spahr

Lake Atitlan is the result of a volcano 125,000 years old.  The lake is a thousand feet deep and it’s surrounded by four inactive and beautiful volcanoes – visually majestic.  We took a kayak tour with Lee Beal of Kayak Guatemala, a walking tour of Santiago and visited the wonderful Amigos de Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz. 

 

Student Applies Skills at Amigos de Santa Cruz Richard Spahr

Student Applies Skills at Amigos de Santa Cruz
Richard Spahr

Amigos is a great organization that teaches the indigenous youth in the area artisan skills to create jobs and businesses to improve their lives, support their community and continue their traditions. 

Market in Antigua, Guatemala Richard Spahr

Market in Antigua, Guatemala
Richard Spahr

We also took a tour with David Lux through Antigua, a visit to Valhalla, a macadamia nut farm [supports many local families] and to other villages in the area.  We were fortunate to be in Antigua for the beginning of Santa Semana [Holy Week] and witnessed an amazing religious procession through the town.  A huge wood and metal structure with religious scenes [weighing 6000 lbs.] is carried by fifty plus men, through the town for about six hours, walking over beautiful “carpets” made with flowers, fruit and colored sawdust created by families along their route.  The women also carry a smaller structure of the Virgin Mary – equally taxing!

Handmade Carpets for Santa Semana procession in Antigua, Guatemala Richard Spahr

Handmade Carpets for Santa Semana procession in Antigua, Guatemala
Richard Spahr

 We participated in a cocoa ceremony while at Villa Sumaya, an unforgettable experience!  So we packed in a lot but still had time to relax and take in the beauty of Guatemala!  We can’t wait to get back. 

So there you have it.  You may want to consider Guatemala as a travel destination, if not a residence.  Whether you have traveled to Latin America before or it’s your first time, it appears that careful trip planning with a reputable guide and a specific destination with local support is your best shot at having a good experience – and help you avoid trouble.

Please check out our next newsletter “Hispanicus” for a full story regarding the country of Guatemala.  If you’re not one of our subscribers yet, you can register here.

Richard and Nancy are alumni from one of our SuperThinking+Spanish courses this year.  Feel free to contact them to obtain more information regarding their experience with the course and also to learn more about their experiences in Guatemala and around the HispanicGlobeYou may contact Nancy and Richard at nancyspahr@outlook.com.

Richard & Nancy SpahrNancy and Richard Spahr live in Indianapolis and love to travel.  Nancy is the founder and owner of Cleansing Water, a natural wellness center.  Richard has been a commercial photographer for thirty plus years.  Between them they have 5 children and 8 grandchildren with another on the way.  No wonder they want to get away! Just kidding, they are all awesome.

 

 

 

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