Posts Tagged ‘Lake Atitlan’

San Lucas Toliman

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Our recent trip to Guatemala included my first time in San Lucas Toliman, tucked away on the shores of Lake Atitlan. We visited a weaver, the Catholic church, and the local house of worship dedicated to San Simon, also known as Maximon. On the drive back to Antigua, we took the southwestern route past Escuintla, with fields for miles of rubber trees and sugar cane.

ShareThis

Lake Atitlán and Mayan Families

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

There is no bad view of Lake Atitlán. This particular vista is of one of the volcanoes surrounding the lake, Toliman, framed by white wispy clouds and an orange tropical flower. One morning while everyone else was asleep, I went onto the terrace of our hotel and a woman from England said to me, “You have to take this picture!” So I did.

In the second photo, you can see men repairing a dock in Panajachel that was wiped out by Tropical Storm Agatha and her recent follow-ups. We saw such repair occurring and necessary all around the lake’s perimeter. (If you look closely,  you can see a gushing waterfall in the foliage above.) One of the main modes of transportation around Atitlan is via lancha, or small boat, a favorite activity for Olivia and Mateo. To board our lancha, we climbed down a makeshift wooden gangplank and clambered over slippery wet sandbags. I would have taken more photos, but I was too busy hanging onto Mateo to prevent him from leapfrogging over the sandbags into the drink. (more…)

ShareThis

Concert in the park

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Antigua is a town filled with music. A few years back, I was lucky enough to be here during Christmas, and every night an orchestra of some kind performed classical selections in the Square. On Sunday, Olivia and I heard marimbas. An afternoon or two ago, a big band played.

Olivia and I stumbled upon the musicians warming up on the steps of the Municipalidad, one of the grand structures that edges the Square, then joined the crowd in the park to listen. The conductor gave the signal, and the band broke into “Begin the Beguine.” The tune was not what I’d expected, and it transported me to my childhood, when my parents listened to Big Band on the radio and my father warbled along. Olivia swayed to the music, creating her own memory of the melody. I’m happy hers is a memory is formed in Guatemala. (more…)

ShareThis

One Doctor

Monday, July 12th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Patrice, who works in the drama and dance department at Stanford University, sent me a series of articles about Stanford physician Paul Wise, who has been going to rural Guatemala for the past thirty years to deliver healthcare to families in dire need, ever since he first visited in 1970 and “fell in love with the place and its people.” On his most recent trip this summer, Dr. Wise was accompanied by a team of Stanford medical students and undergraduates. The articles were written by Adam Gorlick, a Stanford News Service writer.

The group’s work was centered in the area surrounding San Lucas Tolimán, on the southeastern shore of Lake Atitlán. (Tolimán is the name of the volcano that sits on the edge of town.) Gorlick began the series by describing the havoc wreaked on San Lucas by torrential rainfall, including Tropical Storm Agatha in late May. The description rings all-too-familiar to anyone who has traveled in-country during rainy season, when flood waters create landslides, destroy homes, and render roads nearly impassable. Gorlick went on to note the poverty endemic in a country “wracked by decades of civil war, political corruption and the violence of a growing drug trade.” The majority of  residents in San Lucas are farm workers who earn less than $1,000 U.S. per year. (more…)

ShareThis