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Trip to Guatemala & El Salvador

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

This was my first trip to Latin America, and I really enjoyed seeing the two countries.

In Guatemala, our tour guide took us around the country for four days, visiting Mayan villages and markets.

I especially loved the bright colored textiles, and I bought some to hang on my wall or display on my table.

Both countries were very lush, with beautiful mountains and lakes and rivers.

And I loved the food. Every chance I got, I ate guacamole and refried beans.

At one restaurant, there was a woman making corn tortillas throughout our lunch.

That same restaurant had a baby deer begging for food at some of the tables.

I also appreciated the Spanish architecture in both countries - with festive indoor courtyards decorated with plants, colorful birds, and flowers.

It was a memorable trip for me -- a completely new experience.
I truly enjoyed seeing the simplicity of the lives of the people living in the countryside.
It reminded me of times long ago, when as a young child, I would stay at my grandparents' farm in Canada.

Many of the Mayans, in particular, live without the benefit of many modern conveniences.
They wove their own fabrics, and used those fabrics to carry other products to market. They also made baskets and used them to carry everything from produce to live chickens.

Our Mayan guide, who was born and raised in a Mayan village (but who had lived in Paris for three years, and traveled in Europe, and was a very talented and well educated young man who spoke four different languages) compared the Mayan people to our Native Americans. He said they both valued the land and nature.

In both Guatemala and El Salvador, the people who lived in the countryside seemed very hard working. They also seemed happy and friendly.
One woman whose son (one of eight sons) had taken her to lunch at the same restaurant where we were dining wanted to know what we thought of her country. We told her (with our guide translating) that we thought it was a beautiful country and we were enjoying it very much.
She asked how much time we had -- because she wanted to take us home and make us a home cooked meal.

Pretty nice, don't you think?

After this trip, I am planning to work on my Spanish some more, and build up my very rusty skills.
I would like to be able to communicate better - in what I hope will be future trips to Central and/or South America.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Loved reading about your travels in this beautiful photo essay!
    1595 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/9/2013 1:26:18 PM
    Oh My!

    Your images are nothing short of spectacular and your text, especially the insights about the Mayan culture, is wonderful, Sue. I've always been especially partial to the textile artisans of Guatemala. Textile artists from Guatemala spent time at the University of Otavalo in a cooperative exchange with the Otavalan Indians, also highly acclaimed textile artisans, a couple years ago.

    What a memorable experience, captured so beautifully in this travel journal entry. And OF COURSE you know what I thought immediately upon reading, "I would like to be able to communicate better -- in what I hope will be future trips to Central and/or SOUTH AMERICA." Oh question about it. I'm sure you would also love Ecuador and I hope I have broached what will be a continuing dialogue between us!

    Gracias por compartir la belleza (Thanks for sharing the beauty)!
    Maha, tambien conocida como "Valeria" (also known as "Valeria")

    Couldn't find Ecuador or Guatemala's flags, and it's impossible to tell for sure that this is El Salvador's...?
    1600 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/4/2013 5:52:17 PM
    What a lovely blog: such a colourful country, and the textiles are amazing. I can remember my grandfather's little farm in northern Ontario in the 50s with no electricity, no running water, no indoor plumbing, a shared wall crank phone . . . a very simple life and very pleasurable too with home made crullers from the wood stove, rocking chairs on the screened verandah surrounded by trumpet vine, time to play cards and sing once the weeding in the garden and the laundry on the washboard and the chopping wood were done, Good memories.
    1601 days ago
    Wow, glad you went so I could see!
    1601 days ago
    Lovely pictures. It does sound as if you had a fantastic trip. emoticon
    1601 days ago
    It looks and sounds wonderful. I love the use of color!!
    1601 days ago
    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!
    1601 days ago
    Love the pictures!
    1601 days ago
    emoticon for sharing! I have been doing quite a bit of armchair traveling and loving it.
    1602 days ago
    Absolutely beautiful pix. Thank You
    1602 days ago
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