This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Sunday morning the 4 in our group studying here in San Pedro made our sleepy way to the dock at 7am for a boat to Panajachel and a shuttle to Chichicastenango, a colorful, world-renowned market town further into the highlands in the department of Quiche. At the same time, our counterparts in Antigua connected with a shuttle to Chichi and arrived about 15 minutes after we did. We made plans to reunite hours later in the same place to catch our rides to Panajachel and a boat across the lake to San Pedro for another week of study and cultural adventure.

While I took care of a little confusion about our return shuttle, everyone took off so I had a few precious hours all to myself in the market. I have visited Chichi many times but usually spend the night and take off in the morning before the day trippers arrive; this is the 1st time since the 1980s that I have visited as a day trip along with throngs of other tourists.Still, the majority of the folks at the market are from Chichi or surrounding villages.

In 2005 my friend Sylvia and I came across this old couple, Lucia and Thomas. Every time I visit I find their booth and buy a little something.

Spices (Note to Mike: I bought some for our time in Belize:-)

 A highlight for me is the enormous produce market in the commercial building.

 I like how this photo shows the movement of the market.
 Selling produce on a smaller scale...
 Another person I look for every visit is a talented folk artist named Arturo. In 2009 many of the members of my group, including me, purchased masks from him. I had his picture and eventually found somethone who knew where to find him. I noted the small hand sticking out to the right and asked to see her baby - precious cargo.

Here you see Arturo with some of his creations. Friend Rosie was hoping to find him again to buy another mask to join the 1 she purchased in 2009; with minutes to go before our shuttle time we raced back and she and her son Jesse purchased the jaguar/skull mask, 2nd from the right in the 2nd row.
 I love this one - apparently the seaweed-colored thread is the most popular with the local weavers.
 I ate lunch at the restaurant above the entrance to my favorite budget hotel in Chichi, Hospedaje Giron. The view inside...
 and the view out the window.
Waiting for our shuttles - now a group of 17.
Off we go!
The lake is very large and was fairly rough for this afternoon crossing. Some folks weren't afraid and those who were afraid were very brave.
Yay! We made it! Nephew Stu and friend Sharon and I grab a tuktuk to the Cooperativa school where everyone was connected with host families.
After settling in we enjoyed a candlelight dinner; the 1st photo is for ambience and the 2nd and 3rd (which includes a family staying in the Cooperativa apartment) are for identification. iBuenas noches!

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