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, August 20, 2017


As always, my trip started with a ride down the beautiful Columbia River Gorge to arguably the best airport anywhere, PDX.

I flew Portland to Guatemala City through Dallas; here are favorite views from the start and end of the journey:

The 1st night I slept in my favorite little home away from home in Antigua, Casa Cristina, and awakened to this view.

Breakfast (as usual!) was at neighboring Fernando's Kaffee.

I enjoyed a stroll around town...

...and stopped into Nim Pot to dig through the stacks of used huipiles for future couch cushions for our home in Oregon.

I enjoyed the beautiful drive to Lake Atitlán with stops for a bathroom break and the breathtaking vistas (that's the lake in the background of the 1st photo, same volcanoes as the 2nd photo).

I hopped a lancha in Panajachel to San Pedro La Laguna and less than 3 hours after leaving Antigua was at my beautiful home there, Ti Wachooch ('little home' in the local Maya language, Tz'utujil).

I took this pan from the couch: kitchen, entrance, dining area, door to the bathroom and bedroom.

The views are a highlight...

but what brings me the most joy is being with my Guatemalan family.

Also the food. :-)

Josefa's cooking (pepián - my favorite!)

Smokin' Joe's BBQ

My own kitchen


pepino seeds, toasted

Hanging out with the resident kids and dogs

One night the lightning was incredibly bright; these photos were taken of the same scene moments apart:

No trip is complete without visits to the Cooperativa Spanish School; this time I studied with Mynor and took dozens of flower and butterfly photos on my breaks.

Another joy: walking through town, seeing what's the same, what's new, shopping in the market.

The municipal area used to be an open lot for basketball, soccer, and community events and is fast becoming a stadium.

Lots of lanes have become beautifully paved streets, each stone chiseled and set into place by hand.

I like to check out the work of local artisan Fredy, father of Beca Project student Candelaria Rosalinda, and purchase gifts and souvenirs.

Here's Beca student Karina's grandma selling handmade items (I bought that doll).

Here's Juana Michaela with her mother and little sister - I love bumping into friends on the street which happens A LOT (generally dozens of times a day).

One of my goals this trip was to visit the homes of our newest Beca Project students with Mynor.

With his sister-in-law Lucy's help, Mynor and I took some of the students and parents shopping with money donated by their sponsors.

A highlight of this trip was being in on the start of a new Kamoon project. Kamoon ('coming together' in Tz'utujil) is the home building project started by the directors of the Cooperativa Spanish School. This home will be built for the deserving Quem Martín family. The photos below show staff and students from the Cooperativa hauling supplies from the road to the building site and the deconstructing of the original buildings.

2 weeks flew by and suddenly I was heading by boat across the lake to Panajachel and by road to Guatemala City where I slept near the airport at Villa Toscana before an early flight home to Oregon through (ick) LAX.

The views of Oregon were marred by wildfires but, as always, I arrived in Oregon grateful to be a traveler, so grateful to my beloveds in San Pedro for another amazing visit, and especially grateful to be home in Oregon with Mike and our family in the gorgeous Pacific NW. HAPPY TRAILS!

To see 3 sets of photos from this trip, click HERE.