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March 2008

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Uniformed Tourist Queue






Often, around La Antigua Guatemala, you see long lines of tourist in uniforms; sometimes is just a t-shirt, sometimes is the everything. …




El Quinto Sol Entrance






We continue our tour of the remains of the Holy Week by showing how flores de papel (paper flowers) are use to …




The Remains of Holy Week






Well, it seems like the color purple will be with us for a while longer. The flowers above are known colloquially as …




The Remains of Lent






Many purple and violet banners are still hanging from doorways and windows around town. It feels like many don’t want to let …




Fuel Home Delivery in La Antigua Guatemala






Other colonial measurements still in use in present-day Guatemala are: Una mano (one hand or five of anything), un manojo (a bunch), una libra (a pound; this one may hurt many of you, but for sure, the civilized world now uses the kilo), una picopada (a truckload), una fila de frances (a row of french rolls), una arroba (@ or 25 pounds) un quintal (100 pounds), una cuerda (a cord equals 1/6 of city block), una medida (a measurement of whatever fits inside a small can or basket), una penca de banano (that’s a banana cluster), et-cetera or basically that’s what I can remember right now. I am sure the Guatemalans visitors will share other colonial measurements being used in Guatemala. There was a recent article about colonial measurement in Prensa Libre’s Revista Domingo under the title of Costumbres que pesan {ñ}.







Guateflora: Duranta Lila






A simple shot to commemorate the sunshine, the purple, the ever-present spring and to revive the Guateflora series. This photo was taken …




Entrance to Finca San Agustin Las Cañas






The Spring Season began a few days ago, so I’ve read somewhere {ñ}. Guatemala’s slogan is the Land of the Eternal Spring, yet in this country Spring has never showed up. As a matter of fact, Guatemala’s weather does not follow the ‘normal’ seasons. Instead, Guatemala has a dry and a wet seasons. The wet season begins in May and ends towards the last days of October; the remaining months are the dry season. So in about 40 days the rainy season will begin in Guatemala and the whole country will be wearing an intense verdurous foliage dress. If you ever decide to visit Guatemala, make sure you bring dark sunglasses because the adjective intense accompanies every shade of the color hue.







The Old Man and the Band






This old man and the band are the tail of the procession. There goes Semana Santa 2008… we are at end of the Holy Week in La Antigua Guatemala. Just one more day!







Holy Week: An Equal Opportunity Celebration






That is right, Semana Santa in Guatemala is an equal opportunity celebration. Sure, cucuruchos take the majority of the clicks of cameras and most of the video recorded, but children, women and dogs have a place in the Holy Week celebrations. Women’s float or andas are a bit smaller and carry virgins or angels most of the time.







Corozo Palms and its Smell are a Staple of the Holy Week






Just like the Christmas Season comes with its own set of smells, flavors and color palette, so does the Holy Week celebrations. I can bring to you still photos, slide shows, video clips and sounds. But I can not bring you the smells. Like I said back in the Virgin of Guadalupe Day, … the incredible power of the sense of smell can detonate nostalgic memories… if only the smells could be seized like Patrick Süskind suggested in his masterpiece Das Parfum (Perfume). How could one go about imprisoning the mixture of the smells of copal incense, corozo palms, fireworks, pine needles, moisten saw dust, fresh tropical fruits, palm flower arrangements and sweat into a digital format readily available to download onto your own computer?







Underneath a Holy Week Float in La Antigua Guatemala






So much mumble jumble to present the underneath view of a Holy Week float in one of the villages of La Antigua Guatemala. Andas (floats) are not only the affair of cucuruchos, women also participate; and sometimes even chuchos (street dogs) get involved in the penitent act of carrying the heavy float! 😉







Cucurucho Paying for His Turns at the Float






Each turn of the Holy Week Float costs around Q60 (around US$8), there are around 60 turns and each float has somewhere between 80 and 100 spaces for the Cucuruchos. That’s close to Q290,000 (US$38,000) per procession.







Making Palm Sunday Arrangements






Today’s Palm Sunday or Domingo de Ramos as today’s known in the Catholic Realm. Last year, Domingo de Ramos fell on April …




Window Convenience Store






Everybody wants to have the recipe for the Guatemalan Identity. Adopting parents, ONGs, researchers, scientists, writers, poets and even Guatemalan bloggers want …




Painting La Antigua Guatemala






Gotcha! Yet the title is correct, the technique it’s different than yesterday’s photo though. Honest, I have never liked this kind of …




Bougainvillea-lined Road






This is the kind of road the motorcycle riders arriving to La Antigua Guatemala may find. Even I would like to ride …




Paternas or Cushines






Once again here is a picture by request. See, Edgar got jealous because Carmen obtained a couple photos of rellenitos as requested, …




Little gray boxes on the hillside, Little gray boxes made of ticky-tacky






Anyhow, what’s got Little boxes to do with today’s entry. Well, once you listen to Little boxes or Las Casitas del Barrio Alto, you’d know it is impossible to get them out of your head. In a recent trip to México over the weekend we took the new road Carretera 14 to reach the highway that takes us to Southeast México. Carretera 14 is part of the road which will circumvent La Antigua Guatemala and some of the villages. In other words, Carretera 14 is the backbone for what will be the periférico around La Antigua Guatemala. Carretera 14 is also one the most beautiful stretches of road in Guatemala.







Time to harvest the coffee in La Antigua Guatemala






So what makes La Antigua Guatemala the best coffee in the world? To get the best cup of coffee of the world, one must start with the right altitude; somewhere above 1,500 meters above the sea level; add lots of fertile volcanic soil; mix in plenty of rain (about six months); stable temperate weather (about 75˚ F / 25˚ C); once you have the above, make sure you plant the best possible Arabica coffee.