Antigua (Antilles), Guatemala

Hispanic Guatemala, the Antigua Fashion

Dances in the Cathedral
Folklore group dances in front of the facade of the San Francisco Cathedral, during a Paiz Culture Festival.
Colorful houses
Sequences of buildings from Antigua painted in warm colors.
La Merced Niche
Image of Our Lady of La Merced in a niche of the homonymous church.
Rivas Bus
Nativo walks along a cobbled street, in front of one of the bright buses in the region.
An illustrated panel on the wall of a jade factory and shop.
Santa Catarina Arch
Pedestrians approach the Arco de Santa Catarina, one of Antigua's most iconic structures that survived the 1743 earthquakes.
A multi-ethnic audience watches another exhibition of the Festival Cultura Paiz.
distracted cyclist
Cyclist contemplates the ruin of other ancient churches in Antigua.
mestizo rest
Nativo waits against the wall of a washing plant in the city.
Pink font
Visitors next to the huge fountain that marks the center of the cloister of the Church of La Merced.
Washing machine
One of Antigua's communal washing facilities, overlooking the Fuego volcano.
Guatemala, Central America
Registration of an old VW Beetle as well as the architecture of the city in general.
Free afternoon
Foreign friends see photographs in a corner of Parque Central.
end of mass
Believers leave an Antigua church.
Street Theater
Cultural group performs a short satirical performance during the Paiz Culture Festival.
Fallen Angel
Religious detail of a fountain in the cloister of La Merced Church.
In 1743, several earthquakes razed one of the most charming pioneer colonial cities in the Americas. Antigua has regenerated but preserves the religiosity and drama of its epic-tragic past.

A few days after our arrival, we were saturated with the permanent sense of danger and threat that Guatemala City conveyed, with its barred shops and shotgun security guards with closed pipes always on the lookout for the door.

With no reason for ceremonies, we board a folk minibus and move to the much more welcoming neighbor La Antigua.

The early morning trip proved to be short, but the bus became more and more to the pine cone and the drip-love music that the driver insisted on playing in annihilating decibels made our heads in water.

Washer, Antigua, Guatemala

One of Antigua's communal washing facilities, overlooking the Fuego volcano.

The entrance Between Volcanoes in Antigua

When we entered Valle de Panchoy, the passionate cries of the various Central American singers still lingered. Only the supreme view of the summits of the three volcanoes that surround Antigua – Fuego, Água and Acatenango – has granted us a desired abstraction.

At some point, the descent into the valley becomes even steeper. It allows us to see the geometric structure of the village with its long lines of one-story houses, interrupted only by the churches and convents that bless it.

A few kilometers later, that tenuous migration ended in a terminal full of buses that served schools in the United States in the 60s and that, already in Guatemala, were transformed into metallic rainbows.

bus Rivas, Antigua, Guatemala

Nativo walks along a cobbled street, in front of one of the bright buses in the region.

There, at the door of an old Ford, as if he weren't sprawled in bold letters on the windshield, a driver's assistant loudly proclaimed the fate of his career: “Guate, Guate! Five minutes!".

The more he yelled, the more passengers arose. As a rule, entire Mayan indigenous families from the surrounding villages who descend from the mountain at sunrise, sell their fruits, vegetables, clothing and handicrafts in the markets of Antigua and take the afternoon to continue their business in different warehouses in the capital.

Chalchiguitel, Antigua, Guatemala

An illustrated panel on the wall of a jade factory and shop.

Guatemala: the Most Mayan of Nations in the Americas

No other country maintains a Mayan population as well preserved as Guatemala. At Lake Atitlán, in Chichicastenango, in other parts of the nation's most mountainous region, the natives supplant the mestizos and descendants of Hispanic settlers still only white.

We got into a taxi of a smiling mestizo. We head to the inn that we chose in a hurry for the first few hundred meters of the route to the center. Once installed, we recovered our mental sanity half-lost on the way from Guatemala City on a short sleep. Afterwards, we set out to explore the city.

La Antigua Guatemala – as its original name was abbreviated – resulted from one of the first settlements founded by Europeans in the Americas. We knew that it was, even today, one of its most beautiful cities, that this was due, in large part, to the Hispanic architecture, sometimes simple and sometimes grand, of the buildings.

Colored Walls, Antigua, Guatemala

Sequences of buildings from Antigua painted in warm colors.

Antigua's Lush Colonial Architecture

We just had to go through some streets to come across the emblematic Arch of Santa Catarina. And with long sequences of elegant facades, adorned by friezes, balconies and shutters that are always very well cared for, now painted in warm colors: crispy yellow, orange, red, lilac and purple, among others.

Arch Santa Catarina, Antigua, Guatemala

Pedestrians approach the Arco de Santa Catarina, one of Antigua's most iconic structures that survived the 1743 earthquakes.

From time to time, we come across open doors that allow us to peek into inner courtyards and gardens, almost always adorned with furniture as faithful as possible to the colonial style, surrounded by dense vines and lush bougainvillea.

After some time, it seemed to us that we had already developed the standard structure of the villas in Antigua: rooms built in squares or rectangles around fountains or wells that mark the functional centers of the residences.

Source La Merced, Antigua, Guatemala

Visitors next to the huge fountain that marks the center of the cloister of the Church of La Merced.

Most of the buildings in Antigua were initially built during the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries when it became the main colonial city in the vicinity and the Catholic Church sought to assert itself in this new domain.

At the time, almost all the wealth of the religious orders was used to display supremacy. Architecture has proven to be one of the most visible expressions of ecclesiastical power. It is not surprising, therefore, that, at one point, thirty-seven churches and a cathedral coexisted in Antigua, very close together.

Of all these, the Church of La Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, the Cathedral of Santiago and the Convent of San Francisco stand out.

La Merced, Antigua, Guatemala

Image of Our Lady of La Merced in a niche of the homonymous church.

Antigua was planned by the military engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli at the behest of Don Pedro Alvarado, the military disciple of the cruel Hernán Cortéz, the latter the conqueror appointed to subdue the peoples to the south of the already broken Aztec Empire.

Antonelli was on the alert for the difficulties of the undertaking and the life that would follow. As expected, his work and the future inhabitants went through major setbacks.

Assistance, Antigua, Guatemala

A multi-ethnic audience watches another exhibition of the Festival Cultura Paiz.

The Inevitable Curse of Natural Disasters

In 1527, the original city, built at the foot of the Água volcano, was destroyed by a flood caused by the transfer of its huge crater-lake.

Despite slight damage caused by frequent seismic activity, the one that followed, La Muy Noble and Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Goathemala lived 230 years of peace and prosperity. Until, in July 1773, it was destroyed by the earthquakes of Santa Marta.

cyclist ruin church, Antigua, Guatemala

Cyclist contemplates the ruin of other ancient churches in Antigua, Guatemala.

The governor ordered the capital of the colony to move to the area where, even today, Guate, the City of Guatemala.

Antigua was literally abandoned. Only the passage of time and the action of some stubborn residents forced his resuscitation. And the return of the authorities, these days, installed around the Plaza Mayor, the heart of Antigua to which we return again and again.

Tourists viewing photos, Antigua, Guatemala

Foreign friends see photographs in a corner of Parque Central.

More than Recovered, Today's World-Popular Antigua

This Hispanic square is bordered to the south by the Palacio de Los Capitanes, a double arcaded building under which small street workers operate: shoe shiners, ticket sellers and ice cream sellers, etc.

It also houses the Parque Central, a space with abundant shade from trees, where visiting “gringos” and expats – mostly Spanish students from numerous local schools – spend time reading or telling the latest adventures between the green panzas, so the townspeople were nicknamed for eating avocado pear in industrial quantities.

As it happens to us, every two minutes, small groups of Mayan sellers who try to foist bracelets more huipiles, cuts, Girdles, other garments and portable crafts. At night, it's normal to play marimba bands there, but we were gifted with something even more rewarding.

on Stage, Antigua, Guatemala

Folklore group dances in front of the facade of the San Francisco Cathedral, during a Paiz Culture Festival.

It followed, then, one called Festival International Culture Paiz. For 15 days, the event enlivened Antigua with music, dance, theater and opera from various parts of the Americas.

On a stage installed in front of the majestic façade of the Cathedral of Santiago, folklore groups from Guatemala and other countries presented small theatrical pieces, as corrosive as they were comic, that satirized their people and customs.

During one of these exhibitions, we ventured out in front of the crowd. There, we laughed at a first evil done by an extra to a spectator, but we were soon surprised with two horrifying kisses from a human vulture during “zopilot” (a very popular term in Central America to name this scavenger).

on stage, Antigua, Guatemala

Cultural group performs a short satirical performance during the Paiz Culture Festival.

Without really understanding how, we found ourselves animating a kind of mini-magazine to the Honduran woman that portrayed the exaggerated speed of undertakers in those parts.

Amberris Caye, Belize

Belize's Playground

Madonna sang it as La Isla Bonita and reinforced the motto. Today, neither hurricanes nor political strife discourage VIP and wealthy vacationers from enjoying this tropical getaway.

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua

sea, sweet sea

Indigenous Nicaraguans treated the largest lake in Central America as Cocibolca. On the volcanic island of Ometepe, we realized why the term the Spaniards converted to Mar Dulce made perfect sense.

Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Full Dog Mushing
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
St. Paul's Cathedral, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines
Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias

The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Entrance porch in Ellikkalla, Uzbekistan

Journey through the Uzbekistan Pseudo-Roads

Centuries passed. Old and run-down Soviet roads ply deserts and oases once traversed by caravans from the Silk RoadSubject to their yoke for a week, we experience every stop and incursion into Uzbek places, into scenic and historic road rewards.
Cobá, trip to the Mayan Ruins, Pac Chen, Mayans of now
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

On the Yucatan Peninsula, the history of the second largest indigenous Mexican people is intertwined with their daily lives and merges with modernity. In Cobá, we went from the top of one of its ancient pyramids to the heart of a village of our times.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Cathedral of Santa Ana, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries

The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.
View of Casa Iguana, Corn islands, pure caribbean, nicaragua
Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

Perfect tropical settings and genuine local life are the only luxuries available in the so-called Corn Islands or Corn Islands, an archipelago lost in the Central American confines of the Caribbean Sea.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Camiguin, Philippines, Katungan mangrove.
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Punta Cahuita aerial view
Natural Parks
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

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China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
UNESCO World Heritage
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

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now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

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Montezuma and Malpais, Costa Rica's best beaches, Catarata
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Back to the Tropical Arms of Montezuma

It's been 18 years since we were dazzled by this one of Costa Rica's blessed coastlines. Just two months ago, we found him again. As cozy as we had known it.
Bathers in the middle of the End of the World-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

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Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

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herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

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Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.