Archive for the ‘Guatemala’ Category

Solar Power

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Though it is not widely spread yet, there are some houses and business that have adopted this alternative power source.
Lets just hope it becomes more common.

Solar Power

Solar Power

Kaminaljuyu

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Kaminaljuyu or City of the Dead was an important Mayan City located at the intersection of the trading routes of the Mayan Cities of the North, South, and the Highlands and there is evidence of trade with the Mexican City of Teotihuacan, more than 650 miles away.
This Mayan urban center was more than 5 square kilometers. Most of it was assimilated by the modern city of Guatemala and of its 200+ identified structures only 33 remain.
The protected area of this ancient Mayan City is only a couple of street blocks.

The site still sacred for followers of Mayan Religions and rituals, you can see Mayan Ceremonies being performed every day and if you pay attention to detail, you’ll see offerings of flowers and pine needles (to cleanse the site) next to trees.
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Feeling Wrath and Awe
You are at awe when you imagine the wealth of this city and you can see this wealth on the thousands and thousands of pieces of fine Mayan Pottery scattered on the soil. And for modern society this is worth crap!

Conveniently located, it is very easy to get to and bypassed by many tourist, nationals and foreign. Don’t miss a chance to visit the site. If there is no traffic, it won’t take you more than 15 minutes from the airport or Downtown Guatemala City.

Guatemalan Mariachi

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I’ve always wonder: Why is always the shortest mariachi who gets to play the largest instrument? Is it a rule?

Guatemalan Mariachi

Guatemalan Mariachi

Housing

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Land in Guatemala has become increasingly scarce.
Agricultural land: in places like the U.S.A. at the most fertile regions of the country, you can get an acre for about $5 K.
If you are lucky, for that money you can get a 10th of an acre here in Guatemala.
Prices are even worse for commercial or residential real state; In places like La Antigua Guatemala, a house might be as expensive (or more!) as buying property in a wealthy suburb of N.Y. City or Boston.
This scarcity and high prices for land have pushed Guatemalans to use every inch available as we can see here.

Housing

Housing

Even residential complexes are forced to construct smaller and smaller houses, at least this one is colorfully charming.

Housing

Housing

Art

Monday, July 14th, 2014

You can find beautiful forms of art at the most unexpected places.
This image is at an outer wall of a house in the suburbs of Guatemala City.

art

art

Chinese Food

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Chinese Food is popular in Guatemala (where it is not?) and there are all kinds of options.
And you won’t believe prices!
For example, you can get a plate of this for less than $8 U.S.A. Dollars.

Chinese Food

Chinese Food

Guatemala City’s Business District

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

I am loving more and more Guatemala City’s Business District, it looks impresive, modern, organized and yeah; clean.
And Weather is giving us some beautiful days.

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Using DNA

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

We are bearers of a very sad recent past.
During our armed conflict and the Genocide that came with it; more than 200 thousand people were killled, mostly (up to 83%) by state forces and most of those killed were indigenous Mayan (more than 80%) and of course, most of the casualties of the war were unarmed civilians. Many of these were disposed off on clandestine cemeteries and and unmarked mass graves.
Many of these places have been uncovered and now thanks to technology, DNA testing, many people have been able to identify their love ones lost during the war.

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Maximón

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Maximón is a deity worshiped by followers of Mayan religions.
The exact origin of the cult to Maximón is unclear, but it seems to be an adaptation of a Pre-Columbian Mayan Mam deity to the Christian Judas Iscariot.

Maximón

Maximón

Guatemalan Beer

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Here are two new additions to the Guatemalan beers you can find on your next trip down.
They came out a few months back, and I am trying them for the first time today.
I’ll let you know…

Gallo Beer

Gallo Beer

San Marcos Delights

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

San Marcos is a Guatemalan province bordering Mexico. Land of contrast, at one edge it touches the Pacific Ocean, at the other end is the land of Guatemala’s two highest Volcanoes, Tajumulco and Tacana.

Living a urban life in this globalized economy deprives you of many things. Like me, many people rely on supermarkets to get their groceries, where most of the foods are treated with preservatives, hormones, etc., fruits and vegetables are full of pesticides and who knows what.

That’s why I once a month I get a fresh delivery from San Marcos.
San Marcos has a terroir perfect for growing apples, though this has not been exploited at a commercial level. There are apple trees on a lot of house and they are completely free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. You can’t get better than this! There is not a big variety of apples but I like those one can get, they are a little acidic, and that’s how I like them.

Getting fresh cheese, free of preservatives and other unnatural ingredients is rather a luxury here in the city.
That’s why I have a freshly made cheese delivered from San Marcos. They don’t use artificial coagulant in the cheese making process, they use a live culture from the cow’s stomach. Yeah, I’ve seen the entire process and that’s why I love it. And when it is done, it is wrapped on plantain leaves.

Habas, Broad Beans -Vicia Faba-
are grown on the highlands. Once dried on the patios or the roofs, they get place on the stove to roast. Your remove the hard and burned skin and bite the hard inner part. They are full of proteins and other goodies for your body. Surprisingly, we don’t see “Habas” in Guatemala City. For some reason they don’t get commercialized here, despite San Marcos producing tons them.

San Marcos is one of the main producer of potatoes in Guatemala.
Buying your potatoes from a supermarket is not the same as getting a bag of freshly harvested potatoes from San Marcos, and these ones are free of pesticides and preservatives; directly from the land to my fridge.

And my fav: Tortillas de Harina
These flour tortillas are somewhat unique to San Marcos, well, I’ve not seen them made like this anywhere else yet.
They make these large flour tortillas with a very simple mixture of water, flour, free roaming hen eggs, salt and sugar.
they are left on the “comal” (hotplate) until they are crisp.

All this makes me wonder: Why the hell am I living in Guatemala City?

A Guatemalan Wedding

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Guatemalan Modern Society does not show many traces of an independently developed culture, many of the religious rituals, celebrations, etc. are offspring of the colonizers. When you attend a Guatemalan birthday, a graduation, a wedding, you’ll feel like it could be in any European, Western country; the music, the food, the ambiance: true, in Guatemala City, middle class Guatemalans rather sign the happy birthday song in English.
I’m glad there are the indigenous people who refuse to leave their customs.
They’ll attend a wedding wearing their regional güipil (Mayan Dress), despite the rest of the attendees wearing formal Westernized clothing.
I attended a wedding this last Saturday and I was a witness to this cultural phenomena, and in fact, I saw an elderly man carrying his belongings in a “Sute” a large colorful fabric that wraps around them.
If it wasn’t for these little details, many times unnoticed, the even’t would’t have had that Guatemalan touch.