There’s nothing like on-the-spot-freshly-cooked tortillas to accompany your Guatemalan meals. If you grew up eating freshly-made tortillas, the aroma near a tortilleria (tortilla-making place) can be as haunting as the one coming from a panaderia, bakery; just ask Guatemalan or Mexican for the matter. Tortillas, in case you don’t know, are maize or corn based cakes about the size of pancakes or hot cakes which are used instead of bread to accompany and/or as edible utensil in the Mesoamerican gastronomy.
Posts Tagged ‘Maya’
For this Día de la Raza I would like to share with you the faces of cultural resistance in a world where identity is being erased or blended, in Guatemala the Maya women represent a strong hold for the Guatemalan identity.
In Guatemala and many countries in Latin America, October 12 is a national holiday known as Día de la Raza or Day of the Race. October 12 is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza in many countries in the Americas, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain and as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various countries since the early 20th century.
So, once you know that in Guatemala the October 12 holiday is officially known as Día de la Raza and that in Spain is known as Día de la Hispanidad I found a little ironic that many people and the mass media in general in Guatemala use Día de la Hispanidad instead. This is, of course, a reflection of the Guatemalan idiosyncrasies and low self-esteem. For a country with where the indigenous or native population is the majority, many Guatemalans I know will tell you that their grandparents were pure 100% Spaniards. Another characteristic, or let’s call it a feature, of Guatemalans is how much emphasis is put on last names; like if by magic a Spanish-sounding last name could erase our mix ancestry.
It had been a while since I visited Ciudad Vieja, the town about two miles from Antigua Guatemala. I was surprised to see all the changes and improvements made around Ciudad Vieja.
Ciudad Vieja is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of Sacatepéquez. According to the 2002 Guatemalan Census, the municipality has a total of 25,696 people. Ciudad Vieja was the second colonial capital of the country. Many of the recent photos have been taken in Ciudad Vieja and/or in San Miguel Escobar, a community of Ciudad Vieja.
San Miguel Escobar is the modern name for the district that contains the ruins of the second colonial capital of the Guatemala region. The Spaniards founded their capital here in 1527, after their previous capital at Tecpán Guatemala became untenable. The city was destroyed by a catastrophic lahar from Volcan de Agua in 1541, and the survivors had no choice but to abandon the site. The capital was again refounded several miles away at Antigua Guatemala in 1543. (source: Wikipedia)
Make sure you pay Ciudad Vieja and San Miguel Escobar a visit next time you come to Antigua Guatemala.