According to the entry on Guatemala on Wikipedia, 40% of the population of Guatemala is Amerindian. I believe the figure to be closer to 60%, yet you would not know it by looking at the pictures in this site. I have try to skip the most obvious photos and that is why just last week a gave you a hint of Calle del Arco; Antigua’s most prominent strip. The same with photos of the indigenous people which is what most tourists photograph. Nonetheless, I have posted some photos and a bits and pieces about them.
Warning, extremely politicized side note (you may skip the reading):
Recently I came across the blog of a person who had just visited Guatemala and commented that life was simple for the people that live in simple houses with their simple living, blah, blah. In just a paragraph this person use the word simple or simply six times. Well, let me tell you there is nothing simple about Guatemala and its people. How can it be? In such tiny country there are 21 Mayan languages, Xinca (Nahualt variant), Garífuna (African mixed with Maya), along Spanish with a population divided among Roman Catholics, Protestantism, Evangelicals, and traditional Mayan religions, in a landscape broken by 37 volcanoes and two mayor mountain ranges that provide the most varied climates. Nothing can be simple about this country that has two Nobel Prizes: one for Literature while most people are illiterate and another for Peace in a land that still suffers the struggles of a 30 years of civil war after a successful overthrow of the freely-elected Guatemalan government by the CIA coup “Operantion PBSUCCESS” in 1954. It is difficult to realize all the complexities of life in Guatemala on a short vacation, but I would recommend doing some reading; especially if you are a teacher. Even travel guides have ample information about the intricacies of this tiny northern Central American country.
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