Sunday, February 28, 2010


Two weeks ago I went to El Tejar, Chimaltenango. El Tejar is known for the bricks, tiles and shingles (teja) made by hand from clay and baked in primitive ovens. When one drives past El Tejar seems like every other house is a teja producer, the obvious guess why the town is called El Tejar.

Here is a video of a man making tejas. It takes him 1 minute and 9 second to make one, if he can keep the rhythm steady he will make about 400 tejas a day. After being made they sit under the sun, then they are transfered and piled up to dry more to finally be put in a wood fire oven. The will be sold at Q1.50 to Q2.00 each. My guess is the artesian will make tops 50 cents of a quetzales per shingles (8 US cents).

This is yet another story "spork" story. The sporks are those spoon and forks in one. You can scoop and you can stab! The same with these stories you are amazed by the labor but stabbed by the poverty and conditions of the people involved.

Another artesian making floor tiles:

The oven

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Yesterday I met Fabiola. Here in the picture with an autograph she sent to my girls Nicole and Megan. She is as charming as can be, makes every Guatemalan proud!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Taken from the Terrace of Tartines restaurant by Jean Francois. @ Antigua, 4 calle oriente no 1C.
His former restaurant in GT city was described in the book The Investment Biker by financial guru Jim Rogers.
Tartines is one of the best treats in Antigua. A retired top exclusive chef cooking for fun letting all of us mortals eat at affordable prices!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010


This is a saying I have found myself saying a lot lately. When people ask me why I came back to Guatemala I say LA TIERRA LLAMA. The land were you were born calls you. I am not sure that calling in the US is as strong in this age and time.

My in laws after living all over the world came back to live in Kansas because they felt that was their land, but Tom's siblings and other friends have found a new place and call it home I don´t they are wanting to go back to where they were born.

On the other hand I have several friends who have left Guatemala but they have either come back or are buying property to eventually return, they do feel the calling of the land. Like Ruben wrote in Nariz de Frijoles:

"Guatemala tiene algo de especial, es el pais del doble efecto: uno no ve la hora de irse, cansado de las noticias del día, de la intolerancia de mucha gente y de todos los problemas con que nos agobia esta sociedad tan peculiar. Pero así como uno no quiere dejarla, al pasar unos días lejos de ella, uno no ve la hora de regresar."

"Guatemala has something special, it is the country of the dual effect: one can't wait to live, tired of the daily news, de lack of tolerance from many people and all the problems that pound on this peculiar society. But the same way one want to leave her, after some days far from her, one cannot wait to get back"

The picture a top is the picture of a plant that was planted in a pot and tilted finding its way to the ground and took of from there to a 3 meter high tree. The pot is buried in with the plant. When we saw it my dad said "La tierra llama".

Friday, February 12, 2010


A public park, with swimming pools and a lake with pedaling boats.
Sent from my mobile. CIAV, Cambiando Vidas

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Pricesmart, membership shopping sell a bag of cascarones plus a mask for Q21.95. Less than Q0.50, about $0.05 each!
It almost makes you want to buy them instead of making them, but of course we all now the fun is in the making.
Sent from my mobile. CIAV, Cambiando Vidas


Ok, so after a cholesterol marathon we collected 52 egg shells!

The girls started painting them today with markers, stamps and temperas. There is no wrong way to decorate them.

Check back everyday for the pica pica, engrudo, tapadera and carnaval!
Sent from my mobile. CIAV, Cambiando Vidas

Friday, February 5, 2010


This is a political adaptation of Cinderella. We did this recording at the Master Program I am participating. We were not allowed to use any prompts. The voices are from the members of my group (Gerardo, Giovanni, Luis, Carlos, Pablo and I)

It is in Spanish (sorry!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


This is a view from the building Zona Pradera, you can see the main Boulevard Los Proceres. The building across is Transactel one of the fastest growing Guatemalan companies. Transactel is a Call Center servicing the US and Puerto Rico market. The Comercial Center next to it is La Pradera. Behind the mountain is where the suburbia growth is taken place.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010