Posts Tagged ‘Guatemalan funeral’

The road to Panajachel

Monday, August 9th, 2010

The worst of Tropical Storm Agatha had passed but on the road to Panajachel from Antigua, we could still see the devastation. Acres of mountainsides had loosened and slid, taking down stands of trees and boulders the size of Volkswagen bugs. The landslide in the photo above hadn’t been cleared by the time we came upon it, and our tourist van slowed to a crawl as traffic was routed around it. Whether we’d missed the slide by minutes or hours, nobody knew. Like everybody else safe in a four-wheel drive vehicle, we just counted ourselves lucky.

For us, the weather is a nuisance, but for the residents of the area, these storms often mean death. En route, we saw a crowd gathered around a body on the side of the road. A few days later, as we passed through the area, we saw a funeral procession carrying a wooden box. Olivia and Mateo are still talking about it. To my knowledge, it was the first time either one of them had seen a coffin.