Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pictures of Guatemala

Pictures of the trip to Guatemala have been published on Facebook, you can follow the link below to access them:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Copán, Honduras

Leaving Tikal in the early morning I reached the border to Honduras on Thursday in the late evening and entered the coluntry one hour before sunrise. The border crossing went really smoothly. When visiting only the Copan ruins on a trip from Guatemala, a separate piece of paper is used for the stamps, allowing the visitor only a brief view of the country.

In Copan Ruinas, I enjoyed great local food at the Llama del Bosque restaurant.

The ruins of Copán are very great, the buildings are not as tall as in Tikal, on the other hand, the carvings and sculptures are more refined. The story of Copan shows the effects on the environment of mismanaged natural resources, as the city grew, the weather patterns changed, trees were cut, and this precipitated the fall of the city.

And Friday it was time to come back to return to Guatemala, as the flight to Europe will leave on Saturday afternoon. My last night in the country will be in the town of Zacapa, three hours by bus away from the capital. This is a place removed from the tourist crowds, a good place to relax. And the climate is the hottest I had to endure on my trip, some friends there told me that it was in fact the cold season and the real heat was a few months ago.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Spent two nights in Flores, the department of Peten to visit the Mayan ruins of Tikal. It was really fantastic, the pld temples were really beautiful. It was very interesting to see the jungle, managed to see interesting birds, unfortunately not all accepted to be taken picture of. Pictures of the trip will be added to my Facebook profile upon return in Europe. My next destination is Copan in Honduras which is also famed for beautiful Mayan ruins.

Monday, July 9, 2007


On friday afternoon I left Guatemala City for Coban by bus. Arrived at night, eveything went fine and I found ahostel to spend the night.

Came back from a week-end in a remote Qeqchi Mayan village in Alta Verapaz at an altitude of 2500 meters. The views were great, the hike in the forest was nice and it was a very interesting way of knowing Mayan culture. Nights were rather cold up there, but as I had warm clothes, everything was fine, though the legs are aching today.

At the Xkape Coban restaurant, I had the chance to taste the local speciality, Kak-Iq, a turkey stew. At the end of the meal, it was possible to enjoy an espresso with cardamon, rather unusual in this part of the world, although Coban is one of the main exporters of this spice worldwide.

Will spend another night in Coban, waiting for a shuttle to Flores, recovering from the hikes and tasting local Mayan cuisine.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ciudad de Guatemala

There is only one day left with the volunteering placement in Guatemala City. Time has gone very fast, the translation of a video about the civil war took wa achieved on time, the NGO communicarte will soon have its video available in English. Tomorrow, Friday, will be the last day at the soup-kitchen.

Tonight I am meeting a friend from business school who lives in the city. We went to the Zona Viva, it was the first time I went to this part of town, except for a quick impression on the way from the airport on a rainy Saturday night two weeks ago.

My stay in Guatemala will extend one week after this placement, and it will be a great oportunity to explore further the Mayan heritage of Central America.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independance Day in Antigua

The mornings are dedicated to our volunteering work. In the afternoons, we are taking part in various cultural activities. Last week, we had a lecture about the histotry of Guatemala, salsa lessons, artistic activities and a trip to the Sabana Grande in Escuintla, near the coast, where the temperatures were much higher than at the altitude of Guatemala City. This week we had a lecture about the medical system of Guatemala.

On this Wednesday, 4th of July, we went to Antigua to visit ruins of former monasteries and churches. Afterwards we went to San Antonio Agua Calientes were we visited some handicraft shop were the traditions of Mayan weddings were explained. Thereafter we learned how to make tortillas and tasted some Guatemalan coffee. In the evening some of us stayed in Antigua for dinner and in order to enjoy the city longer. It was also the occasion for the people form the USA to celebrate the day of their independance.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Lago de Atitlan

After a first week of volunteering work in Guatemala City, I went out of the city for the week-end. Staying in a nice town, Panajachel, in an hotel with view over the lake and its surrounding volcanoes. I discovered Uruguayan cuisine, at the Guajuimbo's restaurant, the food was wonderful. On Sunday, we visited the market of Chichicastenango on our way back to the city. Short before arrival, we saw a volcano erupting. Traffic jams were crazy on the road, we thought that the way back to the city wuld be smooth, but there were works on the road and the traffic was very slow near Tecpan, and then later, the usual traffic jams f the city as people came back from their week-end.

My assignment is twofold. Three days a week I server in a soup kitchen, preparing and serving food to the homeless. The other two days, I am translating videos from Spanish to English. These videos are dealing with the effects of the war on Guatemala and the rights of indigenous people.