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!

Monday, November 16, 2015


So here is the last 2015 post about San Pedro La Laguna, a mix of scenes from around town that didn't quite fit anywhere else with a focus on our wonderful home there and the family who lives on floors 1 and 2, Mynor and Josefa and their awesome boys, Manuel and Antonio.

When Guatemalan presidential elections don't result in a majority for 1 candidate, the top 2 have a run off; that occurred while I was in Guatemala this fall. It was an unprecedented year in Guatemalan politics that included months of protests which resulted in a peaceful coup after the vice president was arrested and the president lost immunity and his throne for fraud and embezzlement. The wife of a previous president (who divorced him in order to be eligible to run) lost by a landslide to a popular television comedian with zero experience in government doings; all Jimmy Morales needed was the perfect campaign slogan, seen below: Neither corrupt nor a thief.

San Pedro is a place of stark contrasts. Here's an attempt to upgrade the entrance to a home with a cement launch pad and a bit too much help from the neighborhood dogs.

And here's the new fútbol stadium. Really.

More about town: Virgen Poderosa (powerful virgen) bus heading to Guatemala City

A valiant worker

and lots of coffee - so beautiful this time of year.

This neighbor is picking coffee a few doors up from our place.

Avocados, plenty.

Buying roasted peanuts

and flowers

and breakfast.

There are such lovely old people to watch

and kids with kites,

some of them very small and perched in precarious positions.

There are dogs

and bunnies

and poinsettias taller than the walls: Christmas cheer protected by the Latin American equivalent of barbed wire.

Breakfast at El Barrio with 2 travel forum friends, Joe and Steve.

So we love exploring but we love our home base in San Pedro even more, almost beyond words. To start, the views in various directions are fascinating and/or gorgeous in the mornings,

through the days,

in the evenings,

and at night.

To spice up the walls inside, I hired a local carpenter to make lots and lots of frames for me.

I scrounged boxes around town for cardboard backing and bought a hammer and tacks at the hardware place just up the street.

I framed several terrific pieces of artwork by Beca students, prints, diplomas, and more than a dozen photos.

I hung curtains and bought foam from this store to stuff into chair cushions, all made at home in Oregon from Guatemalan textiles.

Mike helped me drill holes and mount the frames on the walls along with a small collection of huipiles (traditional woven blouses) from around the country. I covered the couch cushions and my friend Maria added embroidery for us. Home away from home complete!!


Likely the single best thing about this home is that we share it with interesting people. Here Josefa (left) gets help with the weekly laundry from Maria.

Mynor's team plays their 1st basketball game of the new season.

His team includes his cousin and the carpenter who built our windows, doors, and wooden furniture.

And the food! The food! A meat fiesta on the patio.

A traditional meal in the home of Josefa's parents.

(This blog post is making me hungry. You, too?)


A favorite: pepián

The kids are really fun - bright and creative and full of good energy. Here Antonio (right) and 2 cousins add little shells they found on the shore to the fish tank as St. Francis of Assisi stands watch.

Photo booth time - an idea that just keeps on giving.

Tea time in the box the soccer gear was sent down in. Thanks, Anne!

Sticky foam

And never underestimate how many hours of aerobic exercise growing boys can get from Dollar Store glow sticks.

On our last morning in town we went to this juice stand for a treat with our Guatemalan family. Highly recommended!

Left to right Manuel, Antonio, Mynor, Josefa, Mike, and me.

We packed up and said goodbye for now. I will miss this view so much but not nearly as much

as this view. ¡HASTA PRONTO!

You can find the complete photo collection for this trip HERE.

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