Here are the elements of a weekend photo of LAG on a weekend afternoon:
The Bride and Groom
The locals (whatever that means)
The old cars
The ice cream cart
Loteria! Every picture you take from anywhere around el parque central (is it called that way in LAG?) plays like a game of Loteria (sometimes even with El Borracho thrown in the mix).
Guatemala is a land of contrasts, and in that sense, La Antigua is where these contrasts are more visible. The “metropoli” of Central America keeps reinventing itself century after century and I wonder if I would recognize her as that hangout for my middle class youth, that “centre of the universe” around which my life seems to orbit. What it is still true, is that LAG is the destination of many middle class “ladinos”, like me in other times and every time I visit the motherland, for their weekend afternoons. The capital of the kingdom, full of criollismo and paternalism. With reminders of the power of a class that felt trapped between their European ancestors (that treated them like second class citizens) and the local natives, who were trying to protect their identity from the violent conquest and subsequent colonization. That is the charm of La Antigua, the hometown of Francisco de Fuentes y Guzman chronicler of the kingdom. It can be said, that it is the city where the idea of Guatemala, as a country, as a nation was born. That experiment on eternal feudalism where I left my navel. Don’t let the cobblestone streets and the clay roof tiles fool you, La Antigua is a stronghold, a fortress, a survivor of a time where everyone was still in their place within the colonial social structure. Reborn after earthquakes and exodus as a souvenir a monument to us, ladinos & criollos.
¡Viva La Muy Noble y Muy Leal, Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala!
¡Capital del Reyno de Goathemala!
text and photo by Manolo Romero Escobar
About Guest Contributor: Manolo Romero Escobar is a Guatemalan ex-patriate that calls Canada his godmotherland. Self-exiled and retired blogger is enamoured with the art of science, particularly psychological research and methodology.