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Guatemalan Police Anecdotes

One of the benefits of living in a third world country is that you don’t need to read Cien años de soledad …

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, …

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.

Public Enemy Number 1: The Plastic Bag

Dot 2: The very same day, after reading the article above in my lunch hour, I walked back to the office and sure enough a plastic bag came dancing towards me, just like in the American Beauty film. So what was I to do, but to pull my camera and to start shooting this new enemy. This incident happened right in front of Doña Luisa Xicotencatl restaurant; one of LAG’s landmarks.

Copyright Infringement Sign

Signs: They come with all kinds messages; some with weird information too.

If you’ve been visiting La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo for a month or longer, you will know that the sign category gets a lot of attention from my viewfinder. You can browse the sign category to see 48 samples of the different signs capture thus far.

YO-YO: The Inauguration

This is what the inauguration of the YO-YO: retratos y autoretratos the photo exhibit looked like inside the Sala Marco Augusto Quiroa …

Illuminated Angels at the Park

I figured you would like to see the illuminated angels a little closer, so I took a few more shots. This one has a couple making up (you guys are voyeurs) by the fountain and this next one you could use it as a post card since it is only the two angels slightly out of focus. I hope you enjoy them both

The Roads Around Antigua Guatemala

From the Guateflora series we take a different road to show you the lush roads around La Antigua Guatemala. By the way, the roads that communicate La Antigua Guatemala with the rest of the ‘real’ Guatemala are some of the best in the country, if not the best; they are kept in better conditions than the rest of the roads around Guatemala.

Theme Day: One Way to the Decisive Moment

As I negotiated my acrobatic skills over the stone, looked back so I don’t get ran over or splashed by one of the uncivilized drivers, looked at the camera so I don’t ruin it with the running dirty water, composed the shot to include both elements, I took a couple of shots to get the best composition. As I was ready to put away the camera and moved away from the center of the street because two vehicles were using their horns to alert me that they were close and they had no mercy; this lady entered the frame; I did see her with my own eyes as I was looking down to the twist-out viewfinder paralleled to the floor; I had but fleeing second to take the shot and this fraction of a second my mind went through all countless photographs warehoused in my memory so fast that I must remember over thousand images until my brain did a full stop at one my favorite images ever: The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson. With that image in my head, I pressed the shutter release. Next, I pulled away from the centre of the street just in time as the vehicle behind me went by making a big splash (I did not get wet), pulled my eye sight to see that the lady did not fall and was already walking away in the opposite direction.

Coffee Table in La Antigua Guatemala

We are back to coffee beans, again, in the form of table available in the patio area of Fernando’s Kaffee. I believe La Antigua Guatemala is blessed because most days you can have your breakfast in the patio and most patios are so full of gorgeous and exotic (for the rest of the world) plants and flowers. I recommend that you have breakfast and a good cup of coffee at Fernando’s Kaffee if you come to La Antigua Guatemala. For those who only want to have access to this fabulous coffee, Fernando confided in me that very soon, in the next couple of weeks, he will begin exporting his in situs roasted selection of Guatemalan coffee beans. You will be able to order any amount of coffee (starting at 3 pounds, I believe); so keep an eye at coming-soon Fernando’s Kaffee web site.

Family Mausoleum in San Lázaro Cemetery

JM Magaña, La Antigua Guatemala’s second conservator and the pen behind the architecture column in Recrearte Magazine, pointed out that until 1976 La Antigua Guatemala was painted all white too. At the time the cemetery was created in the 1800s, there were a couple waves of plagues and thus every thing was white-washed with live limestone to disinfect and maintain the town virus free. This coincided with the introduction of coffee in 1875 (more or less) and thus an abundance of wealth which provided the necessary fund to build all those mausoleums. There was a massive earthquake that hit Guatemala in 1976 and destroyed a great deal of buildings and houses in Guatemala. In fact, it is said that the 1976 earthquake changed forever the look and feel of Guatemala. La Antigua Guatemala was not saved and thus reconstruction began after the quake and with it, the color lime-stone paint came. This change in color did not reach the cemetery.

You’re Not Dead Until You’re Forgotten

Guatemala’s real culture is syncretism and thus death plays an important role in traditions and culture. Guatemala is the real ‘melting pot’ and the final product is called mestizo. A mestizo is an individual that comes in many shades of brown and she is made up from a combination of AmerIndian, European, African, Asian and Arab. Syncretism and mestizism go together well and that is why there is no conflict with including some or many Mayan rituals, including death rituals, in a everyday Catholic or Christian service. Obviously, a single entry is not enough to describe such a complex human being, but we have to start somewhere and since Patsy Poor mentioned that recent studies showed that the U.S. will be brown (mestizo) in 50 years. 😉

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.

Holy Week Elements: The Cross

Nevertheless, Good Friday is the culmination of the Holy Week Celebrations and the processions end at the Calvario Church (Calvario is the Spanish word for Calvary or Golgotha). The entrance of the Calvario Church in La Antigua Guatemala is a yellow façade with three arches, topped by three bells and three crosses —one larger than the other two— with a very large concrete cross in front. Can you see the obvious architectonic reference to Jesus’ crucifixion?

Framed Bicycle

Although this image is not as impressive as photo of the kid caught in the mid-air stride in Run Lolo, Run, it …

Striking stripes

Thanks to a comment by Sarah from San Antonio Daily Photo, I noticed the opposing stripe patterns weared by this couple on …

Guatemalan Adoptions

I was lucky to capture this couple and their new baby just taking a rest and enjoying the beautiful light and atmosphere …

Run Lolo, Run

Hurry home, run rapidly, the witches are watching. Lolo, you must put on your costume to go out for trick-n-treating. It is …

Transnational: I’m loving it

The clown moves according to Antigüeño’s urban legend. Actually, there had been “sightings” of the McDonald’s clown moving through Latin America. I …

Love is on the air

After looking at Eric’s “Still hot in Paris!“, I made a mental note to photograph couples in Antigua to show that love …

Antigua is a romantic town

Somehow, not by conscious intention, I have managed to avoid the common references and photos of Antigua. For better or for worse, …

Antigua’s horse carriages

There are still some horse carriages in Antigua, mostly used by tourists and by couples who want to have a romantic ride. …

Football Game in Antigua

Football Game in Antigua, originally uploaded by rudygiron. Yesterday while I was looking for a car-wash around Antigua, I found this soccer …

Metallic cat accent

In my way to lunch I caught this metallic cat at the Macaco store. There is an artist in Guatemala City who …