Only in Guatemala the world was created in 23 different
ways. There are 23 languages and 23 different words for God. Here,
woman using magic threads of every color of the rainbow spin, weave
and embroider more than 500 different native costumes. Many fertility
goddesses bring light and strength to the flowers, the stars, and
also to the beautiful creatures of the jungle in Guatemala.
In Guatemala beauty pursues the traveler at every corner.
Quiches, Mams, Tzutujils and Cakchiquels, men with elated heart,
work with malleable damp clay, powerful jade or wood from forest.
The concepts colors and shapes they produce in their ancient art
are astonishing. On simple blackstrap or pedal looms, the women
weave history with their wool and cotton threads creating huipiles
and other fine textiles.
Despite the fact that tourist guidebooks give some
facts about Antigua, it is nonetheless impossible not to be astonished
and moved when setting foot on the cobbled streets of this colonial
city. No matter the visitors reason for visiting Antigua,
there are few that leave the town without heaving a sign of regret.
Its picturesque streets, richly textured ruins and friendly residents
work their way into the heart of any visitor and remain there for
quite a while.
La Antigua Guatemala was the capital of the kingdom
of Guatemala during colonial times. Today, extraordinary palaces,
convents, hermitages and churches are harmoniously integrated in
its architecture. This city was declared Patrimony of cultural Heritage
Lake Atitlán and Panajachel
Few visitors leave Guatemala without seeing Lake Atitlan
and the Maya town of Panajachel, booth found about two hours from
Guatemala City. There is enough activities around the lake to keep
visitors busy for several days, as they explore Maya villages, shop,
go horseback riding or bird watching, tour a nature reserve and
butterfly garden, and visit local artist is one of the worlds most
beautiful natural settings.
Arguably the most beautiful lake in the world, Atitlan
owes its grandeur to its enormous size and spectacular, volcanic
setting. Lake Atitlan was formed when a volcanic caldera depleted
of its magma. Three stately volcanoes, Atitlan, Toliman and San
Pedro rise gracefully from its southern shore, their perfect cones
reflected in the azure mirror of the lake. Weaving made and worn
by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake
are some of the most beautiful in Guatemala, and many of the men
also wear traditional, hand-woven clothing.
Thursday and Sundays are market days in Chichicastenango.
People from nearby areas bring their fruits, flowers and seeds,
handicrafts, dresses and shawls to sell. Little by little the market
surrounds St. Tomas Church like a labyrinth. At sundown, the rituals
begin. Prayers are said while incense sends the messages up to their
Chichicastenango is a colorful place with the sound
of different dialects, with different articles to sale: impeccably
handmade handicrafts, singular clothing, exotic tasting food and
praises to a non-forsaking god.
San Antonio Aguas Calientes
The town is just 15 minutes away from the city of Antigua
Guatemala, its known for its handmade weaving, a tradition
dating back to colonial times. Life in San Antonio Aguas Calientes
keeps pace to the weavers, whose hands give shape to huipiles, tzutes,
tapestries, and small rooms of traditional design and bright colors,
make with the skill of their ancestors.
In San Antonio, they also make straws dolls, huge kites, paintings
by different techniques and wooden masks, used for many Guatemalan
Here live the inheritors of color and form. In fact,
here in Totonicapan, the meztizo art was born from the fusion between
the Spanish and the Maya, has truly flourished. Glazed or painted
ceramics, textiles made on foot looms, toys and cajetas, many colored
boxes, all testify to the mastery of the artisans who live here.
Also here you can find the famous Ponchos
of Momostenago, artistic heavy wool blankets or rug woven on large
foot looms. Close there are two more towns: San Francisco el Alto,
which has a picturesque market every Friday, and San Andres Xecul,
whos Church has a polychrome façade resembling the
weave of their huipil.
The flavor of the Caribbean flows through the streets
of this small town, populated by the Garifuna Afro Caribbean with
a mix culture, which is interesting and exotic. Long time ago Livingston
was the port of departure for the fragrant coffee of Las Verapaces.
Today, it is a fishing village full of wooden houses, balconies
and sandy streets.
Local celebrations include Easter Week with a representation
of Christs Passion, and the Fiestas of San Isidro Labrador
and the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12th. Here ceremonies are
celebrated with the notable Afro Caribbean culture.