Travel Blogs

Friday, December 12, 2014

Central America - Guatemala - A Day in Central America


The day started with music and the beautiful colors of the Local Market.




Mayan craftsmanship, including elaborate weavings, decorative stitching, and ceremonial masks, was everywhere.
Mayan Paintings of local scenes and Mayan children

 
Wood carving Masks
There were various handmade items of traditional ponchos and caps, pashmina-like shawls, purses, pillows, and scarfs.
Our plan was to visit La Antigua and make a view stops along the way.
Here's a roadside local fruit market along the highway.

Hillside coffee plantation built on volcanic soil.

We stopped at Valhalla Experimental Station Farm in San Miguel Duenas. It is a Macadamia Nut Farm, and a not-for-profit organization that gives macadamia nut trees to the local people and teaches them how to grow and harvest macadamia nuts to help them earn money.
 
 Completely eco friendly the owner has developed machinery to process the macadamia nuts without electricity and share his knowledge and encouragement to the local people.


At a small Indigenous Village, we saw a Textile presentation and collection of Hulpil shirts and blouses. A Mayan woman weaving a blanket.

The huipil is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America.  Ceremonial huipils are the most elaborate and are reserved for weddings, burials, women of high rank, and even to dress the statues of saints.
A Mayan woman making tortillas.





Hillside views of La Antigua


La Antigua founded in 1542 and is now a United Nations World Heritage Site.  



Arco de Santa Cataline, this monumental arch, was built as a passageway between the monastery and adjoining school.

La Merced Church, decorated with lacy white stonework, was originally a  male monastery. In 1749, Juan de Dios Estrada was commissioned with the construction of the luxurious sanctuary and cloister. It was opened in 1767.


Antigua has several beautiful churches, the town's central Plaza is Plaza de Arms.



 

The Plaza is filled with trees and plants and with benches to rest on and enjoy the city. The fountain is the central point and quite beautiful and large.


 


The Cathedral of Santiago, the original church constructed in 1543, was damaged in an earthquake and was rebuilt in the 17th century. The church is located in front of the  Plaza.



 
The day began and ended with the beautiful music of Guatemalan culture.





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