The Arch, Hermano Pedro, and La Bodegona

I realize I haven’t yet posted photos of some of the most iconic scenes in Antigua. For anyone who hasn’t yet been here, these are the places noted in every guidebook, and for good reason: they’re beautiful. Here are two views of the Arch of Santa Catalina that stretches over Fifth Avenida, built in the seventeenth century to allow cloistered nuns to cross the street. The volcano looming in the background is Agua. Olivia took the first picture during our recent horse-and-buggy ride. I took the second from the other direction on one of our of many shopping excursions.

The most famous church in Antigua is La Merced, a yellow corner of which you can see through the Arch photo above. My personal favorite, however, is Hermano Pedro, so that’s the one I’m posting, below. Guatemala is rightfully proud of Hermano Pedro, a Franciscan brother born in the Canary Islands who dedicated his life to helping the sick and needy in Guatemala. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. When I lived in Antigua in 2003, yellow bunting hung over nearly every doorway to commemorate the Pope’s visit and Guatemala’s cherished saint. The Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro continues to minister to the elderly, the sick, and orphans; adjacent to the church is a hospital.

The last place I’ll write about is probably not listed in any guidebook, but is well-known and loved by anyone who has spent more than a few days here: La Bodegona. What is La Bodegona? So much more than a grocery store! Toys, books, socks, bug spray, hair care products, pharmaceuticals, firewood kindling, umbrellas. Meats, cheeses, coffee, milk, yogurt, fresh bread. If La Bodegona doesn’t have it, you probably don’t need it! It’s conveniently located a block away from the handicrafts mercado. If we’re in Antigua when you are, chances are at some point, we’ll see you there.


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5 Responses to “The Arch, Hermano Pedro, and La Bodegona”

  1. cynthia rovero says:

    hi jessica, i love the pictures of the beautiful sites you are seeing in guatemala. thank you for sharing so much of the culture through your blog too.

  2. tia sharon says:

    great shot of the arch and the volcano

  3. Jessica says:

    thanks, ladies. great to be here!
    tia s: olivia is a born photographer.

  4. June says:

    Ah, La Bodegona.
    Just seeing that picture brought back a flood of memories.
    …Tying a bungy cord with the groceries to the jogger stroller while navigating the cobblestones with a new baby?? Amazing times! :0)
    Looks like you are having a great time.
    Please say hello to K for me. She was my neighbor!

  5. Jessica says:

    June, I can see you with the jogger and bungee cord on the cobblestones. Amazing indeed. :-)

    K says hello! We had coffee with Dona Sonya today (whom you may also remember from the apartments)and a few other friends at our favorite, Cinderella Bakery (which has moved up Fifth Avenida). An incredible day.

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