My overwhelming impression of Guatemala is of a warm and welcoming people, in a diverse landscape of jungle, temples, volcanoes, lakes, small, colourful towns and warm Pacific waters. There was so much to see and do.
“Guatemala” in the native Nahuatl language means “Place of Many Trees”.
We were soon to find out that this luscious green country lived up to its name.
We landed in Panama City first, via Schiphol, Amsterdam en route to Guatemala, Central America, after an exhausting flight from Newcastle in the north of England. The airline provided us with details to Panama, but then we caught a connecting flight to Guatemala City, to the north-west of Panama, to begin our adventure and be amazed by the beauty of this lovely country and people.
Bustling street markets
Horses and Toasted Marshmallows
Easter celebrations of ‘Semana Santa’ in Antigua!
The Mayan Pyramids in Tikal National Park
Were we comfortable?
We were very fortunate to travel under the wing of a Guatemalan guide, who arranged for us to have as authentic an experience in her country as possible.
Our lovely guide organised a typical Guatemalan meal in a real home, with real people!
Carmen, our host, is showing us how to make tortillas in her humble kitchen. We discovered it isn’t as easy as it looks when we tried. In this unspoiled country, it was a true honour and privilege to be invited into her home.
We enjoyed some typical Guatemalan meal at her table, with her family, right there in that tiny kitchen. She was so proud of having us as her guests!
When does that ever happen when you’re travelling?
More real people
Finally we had a chance to visit a Women’s Weaving Cooperative’
a Guatemalan cooperative run by women, for women, set up in order to help some women become economically independent.
We were taken back centuries as the ladies demonstrated medieval weaving and dyeing techniques. We were able to have a try weaving at their looms, which caused great hilarity all round, of course.
This was the pretty shawl I purchased for very few ‘quetzals’, the local currency.
I know I’ll need it soon ready for winter back home!
Some more magical scenes that made Guatemala unforgettable:
A wonderful country, a wonderful people full of fun, hospitality and good will.
This was truly an experience I could never forget.
I hope to return their some day. If not, I still have hundreds more photographs, to help me re-live those magical moments again.