All posts tagged: Indigenous

Guatemala IIII – Chichicastenango

One day I take a shuttle and go to Chichicastenango, an indigenous town high up on a mountain. The famous Thursday and Sunday markets here are reputed to be one of the largest in Central America. It turned out that the shuttle didn’t come to San Marcos, so first I go in a shared tuc tuc to nearby San Pablo La Laguna and there we meet up with the shuttle from San Pedro. We arrive in Chichicastenango, some thee hours drive from San Marcos, via some scary hairpin bends with much tooting of the horn at each bend. Sometimes along the route, we are overtaken by chicken buses driving at breakneck speed. With packed market stalls and people milling about it’s a veritable feast for the eyes and all of the senses. There are stalls selling wooden carvings, textiles, pottery, spices, flowers and food to mention a few. A religious procession passes by. I just love the colours and the patterns here! It’s a total colour explosion. The 400 year old church of Santo Tomás. Each …

Guatemala III – My month in San Marcos

Looking out over the beautiful lake and the mountains, and following the shifting scenarios of the day from this elevated point is amazing. It’s also very peaceful. That is when the villagers don’t use the loud speaker system they do seemed to love, especially at 7 o’clock on Sunday mornings, playing music or talking like mad. I never did get the hang of what this is all about. I love writing and occasionally pausing to look out over the volcano and the lake, where the fishermen are out on their shallow boats at the crack on dawn every day. Though after the initial thrill it’s dawning on me that my wish of living in nature is not as easy as I thought. To pop down to the village isn’t a task one does lightly every day. It’s just too hard to negotiate the trek up and down the mountain. So I settle into a routine to go down every other day and to bring with me enough food for the day after. I find a really nice restaurant …

Guatemala II – Arriving at Lake Atitlán

I’m on my way to lake Atitlán where I’m going to stay for nearly a month. My thought is to stay in one place and thus have the time to settle down to write and to work. I board a shuttle and we set of for the three hours drive to get to the shore of Panajachel. At lake Atitlán, the transports are made by small vessels darting to and fro between the small pueblos that are situated on the shores of this vast lake. It takes about forty-five minutes for my small boat to arrive to my destination San Marcos. Next stop San Marcos. It’s nice to arrive by boat to a new place. This boat ride reminds me a bit of the archipelago of Stockholm in my own country. The inhabitants of this small village consists of a Mayan population and of westerners, a lot of them spiritual seekers, who believe that there is a special spiritual energy here. The billboards are full of activities on offer such as meditation, yoga classes, Reiki, massage and chakra …

Guatemala I – Antigua

I arrive in Guatemala on a propeller plane and head straight to Antigua. It is love at first sight with this beautiful town, with it’s cobbled stone streets, ruins and amazing colours and textiles of the Maya population. The women here wear the traditional and colourful clothing. The square-cut blouse is called huipil or güipil, the long skirts are called corte, and this is held up by a woven belt called faja. Every region has it’s own distinctive pattern and colour combinations. As a designer I go totally bonkers of delight. The vibrant colours and the intricate patterns of the textiles are so inspiring and I enjoy people watching more than ever here. I like the whole feeling of this old town with it’s beautiful buildings in Spanish baroque style, which used to be Spain’s colonial capital before it was severely destroyed by earthquakes in 1773 and the new capital was moved to a safer place, which is where Guatemala City is situated now. The town is dotted with ruins that remain from the earthquakes. …