Last weekend, my mom and I went to Guatemala. I have to admit that I've never really been tempted to go to Central or South America - I've always dreamed of Europe and Asia. But when one of my old friends went to Peru and my good friend Catherine sent me information about an extremely reasonably priced package to Guatemala, I called my mom and we booked the trip.
I am so glad that I did! Guatemala exceeded all of my expectations (though I admit I wasn't expecting much). First of all, I left hot and muggy Washington, DC for the "land of eternal spring" - the weather was in the 70s the whole time. Wonderful. Second, the food was great and cheap! I ate tasty steak, black beans, fresh cheese, guacamole, smooth coffee, and more. Finally, I visited cities, villages, and Mayan ruins: the perfect combination. I was able to take my mind off of everything else that was stressing me out for an entire 4 days!
We started of in Guatemala City, but the next morning we were off to Antigua Guatemala.
Here, you can see a stone fountain used for laundry. It is free. There are several of them throughout the city in front of different churches. They attracted Mayan women, and then the missionaries took the chance to try to convert them. (It didn't work very well, although the fountains are still in use today.)
After Antigua, we went to Chichicastenango.
This is the cemetery. It was painted in bright, beautiful colors, and was on a hill across from the main town.
These children dressed up and did the dance of the conquista for us. They weren't especially good, but they were cute!
The day after Chichicastenango, we went to Copan in Honduras. Although Tikal is the largest and most impressive Mayan city in Guatemala, we didn't want to take a flight (and we didn't want to spend the money, either!). Instead, we took a 10-hour round-trip bus ride to Honduras. Copan was amazing!
We saw wild macaws and all sorts of other birds in the jungle. This was the hottest we'd been on the trip, since we weren't in the mountains any longer. It was truly awe inspiring to see such old, beautiful, and well-preserved ruins!
This is Gallo beer. We all fell head over heels for the light, crisp taste of "the best beer of Guatemala." We liked it so much, in fact, that our Copan driver called us "the Gallo girls" on the way home.
We had such a great time that we were already planning our next trip! Maybe Cancun and Tikal? Maybe Peru and Machu Picchu? Who knows?!