semana santa in antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Guatemala is roughly 50% Catholic, a huge chunk of them living in and around Antigua. As such, Semana Santa (Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter) here is no laughing matter. Throughout the 40 days of Lent, shining purple banners hang from the city’s buildings and cacophonous...
volunteering

Volunteering in Guatemala

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Guatemala. While you may need to do some advanced planning, volunteering is a great way to personally experience the country and get to know its people and culture. The travel guide includes volunteering opportunities for each...
giant kite festival

Sumpango Giant Kite Festival

Every year, on November 1st, el Día de Todos Santos (All-Saints Day), a festival is held in the town of Sumpango, Sacatepéquez, located between San Lucas Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango on the Pan-merican highway. People from all over the Guatemala, in addition to countries around...
studying spanish

Studying Spanish in Guatemala

Many visitors to Guatemala use their trip as an opportunity to learn or brush up on their Spanish at unbeatable costs. The diversity and quality of escuelas de español, in addition to the neutral, singsong Spanish spoken here, makes Guatemala a great place for studying Spanish....
oxlajuj b'aqtun

Oxlajuj Baqtun

In December of 2012, the supposed ‘end of the world’ predicted by ancient Mayan civilizations came and went with great fanfare but no actual planetary demise. The event is composed of the K’iche’ words Oxlajuj, meaning thirteen, and B’aqtun, a period of time measuring 394 years,...
chichicastenango market

The Market of Chichicastenango

Thirty minutes north of Los Encuentros, you’ll find historic Chichicastenango. “Chichi” is filled with history, impressive handicrafts, and a tangible indigenous culture. Its name means “place of the chichicaste”, a nettle-like tree with leaves that irritate the skin. On...
semuc champey

Semuc Champey & Lanquín

Few visit Cobán without making the trip east to Lanquín, a pristine riverside town with a series of fascinating caves and a trio of first-rate backpacker hostels. In fact, nearby Semuc Champey is the well-justified reason most visitors come to Alta Verapaz in the first place. A...
Marimba

The Guatemalan Marimba

Any description of Guatemalan music would be woefully incomplete without a discussion of the marimba. Declared Guatemala’s national instrument in 1978, the birth of this massive wooden instrument is shrouded in mystery. Many believe that it originated in Indochina, underwent...
Maximón

Maximón in Guatemala

Maximón (pronounced ma-shee-moan), a half-saint, half-deity celebrated in several parts of Guatemala, is a mix of good and evil, a combination of the pagan and Christian worlds. A bizarre jumble of Mayan gods, Pedro de Alvarado (the Spanish conquistador), and Judas Iscariot,...
San Juan Comalapa

San Juan Comalapa

This blog post is a guest entry from Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Cyrus Sethna, who served as a Youth in Development volunteer in San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango from 2013-15. Florence of the Americas: San Juan Comalapa San Juan Comalapa is a peaceful mountain town of nearly...
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