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June 2007

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Altar Inside San Pedro Las Huertas Church

Today’s photograph is dedicated to those friends that have pointed out that in over 427 days I have taken over 34 photos of atriums and churches, but not a single photo from the inside of a church. Let me tell you, it was not easy, but I decided to just walk in and take a few shots. So there, see I can also take photographs from inside the churches. Here is another close-up view of the altar of San Pedro Las Huertas Church without people. I hope you are not put off by religious motifs.

Is it fair? Really it’s a fair

For those who like to imagine what ruins were like and what people did around them I have todays photo of San Pedro Las Huertas Town fair with the church (not a ruin) in the background and all kind of food vendors around the town’s plaza. So this is what the ruins looked like when they were in used by the people of the past. If you would like to browse for other photos from San Pedro Las Huertas, just follow the white rabbit or if you only want to see a better shot of the church in the background just say we’re not in Kansas anymore.

For Whom the Bell Tolls?

Oops! I almost forgot about the photo above. These ruins belong to the church Our Lady of the Remedies, or Nuestra Señora de los Remedios in Spanish. It is located on the left bank of El Pensativo river, on the south part of town, right on the street that takes you to El Calvario Church; just a few hundred feet from it. The processional figures in storage, shown yesterday, are pile on the front part of the atrium. There is a black bird in the picture, can you find it?

Guatemalan Cuisine: Revolcado de Panza

Traditional Guatemalan cuisine refuses to be phased out in favor of international fast food like hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs and chinese food. Even though foreign fast food is convenient, it lacks the complexity in flavors that Guatemalan dishes have. Even a simple dish like Revolcado de Panza, a sort of tomato-based curry with spices and cow’s underbelly brings forth an avalanche of flavors, textures and feelings to the taste buds.

Traditional Guatemalan dishes take a long time to be prepared, sometimes even weeks like the Fiambre (a cold-cuts salad), so they can not compete with fast food junk food in the time of preparation. But who says they have to be prepared the moment you show up to order it? That is fine for sandwiches, but Guatemalan traditional meals are sold by having a ready-made buffet where one can go and just order portions.

What’s in a name? That which we call La Antigua Guatemala

The English-language speaking community refuses to recognize the official name of La Antigua Guatemala because it is too long or lack of knowledge or poor Spanish-language skills; who knows really?. They just want to call it Antigua. But Antigua is a Caribbean Island. Yet, they refuse to call it La Antigua Guatemala, which, by the way, simply means the former Guatemala City.

To add to this confusion, many Guatemalans just call it Antigua too, although more often they say La Antigua. This error is even published by newspapers and magazine. Worst yet, the road signs just say Antigua Guatemala. Even Wikipedia just have it listed as Antigua Guatemala, which by the way means Old Guatemala.

La Antigua’s Old-style Mercado Stand

Diversify is very sound advice for any business. Patsy, who loves chicken, would say, don’t put all the eggs in one basket. So, it is no surprise to find stands, like the one pictured above, in La Antigua Guatemala’s market which sells all kinds of items. This photograph gives an idea for a new easy game (we haven’t got a game for a while) for this weekend.

Café Y tu Piña También plus WIFI

Boy oh boy, bagels, English muffins, exotic pastries, all the cookies in the rainbow, the best coffee and Wi-Fi internet access can almost make you forget you are in a Spanish colonial town embedded between coffee plantations, flower farms and volcanoes in the central mountain range of this tiny banana baby-exporting republic known as Guatemala.

The Guatemalan Chevere Hot Dog Cart

“Chevere” is a Venezuelan Spanish word which means cool, fine, excelent, okay, just to mention a few of its meaning. Well, about the origin of the chevere word, I don’t know; perhaps it is not even Venezuelan. Nonetheless, the word is understood and used in Central America.

In Guatemala, a company of hot dogs decided to use as its name in the late seventies or early eighties. The company did things right and it was a total hit and the Chevere brand became almost as omnipresent as Coca Cola, Pepsi and the Gallo Beer. It was everywhere.

Dramatic Illumination of San Agustí­n Ruins

In the photo above, you can see the San Agustí­n ruins in the foreground, the Moon in the background and Venus between the two. Today’s night photo is to follow up my entry of Dramatic Illumination of Ruins and Historic Buildings with a better example. Back in June 3rd, I mentioned that many ruins and historic buildings in La Antigua Guatemala get a light bath a key places with spot light as to emphasize and to add drama to building that might not look impressive during the day. You now can see what a big difference a tripod can make when taking photos at night.

Walter William Road Monument in Antigua Guatemala

Believe or not, the monument plaque says that this monument was erected in the memory of Walter Williams who happens to be present on the date of inauguration for the the road. I guess that back in 1925, Guatemala was still a jungle and foreign visitors were scarce, so they needed to erect a monument to celebrate such an important event.

VII Summit of First Ladies of Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic

Basically, the first ladies want to promote strategies in favor of the women of the region. If you ask me, this sounds to generic and broad to be taken seriously as a plan to better the situation of women in Central America. They could’ve taken a look at my entry of Guatemalan Women & Killer’s Paradise for two concrete campaigns for their agenda: The elimination of violence against women and solid plans to end the femicides and to bring the killers to justice. But then again, this would not be a suitable agenda to discuss for some fine first ladies while drinking the best coffee of world while staying at the only five stars hotel in La Antigua Guatemala, right?

Niche at Posada del Ángel

Okay, not much time today and you need something light every once in a while. Here is a little niche, nicho in Spanish, found at Posada del Ángel, which is small luxury hotel in La Antigua Guatemala. I have shown other photos of this gorgeous bed and breakfast.

Flor de Izote or Yucca tree flower

I don’t know why I have a fascination with the Izote tree, a member of the yucca tree family, also known as the Yoshua tree. Maybe its many arms and hands. Anyhow, I like it and its used often in the hedgerows around Antigua Guatemala. Its white flowers are edible and they are considered a delicacy. The izote tree flower is also the national flower for the neighboring country of El Salvador. You can see the white flowers right above the center of the photograph; you may need to see the larger version to actually see it. So far I have posted several photos of the palo de izote tree, but this one is my favorite.

Not All the Roads in Antigua are Cobble-stoned

Not all the roads in La Antigua Guatemala are cobble-stoned, some side roads that travel the distance between villages or coffee plantations could be simple dirt path like the one shown above. But even this dirt road can sometimes lead you to jewels like that one I found the other day tucked, as Suzanne pointed out, between Santa Ana village and San Cristobal El Bajo. Thanks to Suzanne, now I know that the name of the ruins is Santa Isabel. The view you see in the photograph above is looking towards Santa Ana village from the Santa Isabel Ruins.

Coffee and Gravileas Trees Along with Bougainvillea Bushes

This photo is needed to clarify a confusion about the coffee trees and their height. Nathalie from Sydney DP asked if coffee trees grow very tall in La Antigua Guatemala, while referring to this photograph which showed coffee trees and their shadow makers the gravilea trees around Antigua, San Pedro Las Huertas to be precise. I posted a Close-up photo of coffee plantation before to show the coffee bushes (tree could be considered an exaggeration) and the shadow trees known here a gravileas. So, to answer Nathalie’s questions, coffee trees (ed. bushes) do not grow very high; they can be harvest by Guatemalan farm workers on foot.

Inside the Safety Zone

Ever since I took a snapshot of a Electrified barb wire fence I wanted to come back to the subject to get …