Tuesday, August 20, 2013


MEAT FLOUR TORTILLA (there is also chicken and other meats)  is a typical food in Puerto Barrios. A big flour tortilla first smothered with mayonnaise to then embrace meat, cabbage relish and beans. You can get the even bigger flour tortilla and get also half a baked potato and a couple of grilled green onions on it.

This one in the picture was the small one. We ate it at Antojitos Nineth la 13 in Puerto Barrios, Izabal.
It made our faces smile!!! 

Two days later we found the second store of Antojitos Nineth in Morales Izabal and repeated the procedure, except this time they also offered a chimichurri sauce.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rattle Snake

Rattle Snake its whats for dinner here in Teculutan Zacapa. We stopped for grape juice and cold grapes and were surprised with rattle snake shishkebab!
According the patron it cures everything from cancer to warts.
This one is Q250.00.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Expressions: Al que madruga Dios lo ayuda.

God helps the early riser. This is the expression equivalent to the "early bird catches the worm".
This is the bird that came to wish us well as we head to Chisec-Raxurha-Fray-Chaal.
Picture in Carchá Cobán in a hotel that was a coffee plantation.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Papa is gonna buy you a Billy Goat

Walking with Nicole in pasos y pedales (The Avenida de las Americas on Sunday mornings becomes a pedestrian street) I took this picture of a boy who gives goat rides.
It immediatly reminded me of the lullaby I loved singing to her.

There are three pasos y pedales (steps and bike pedal), that I know of, in the city on Sundays (in zone 14, 11 and 2) and they are deffinetly and oasis in the city a beatiful opportunity to hang out with the kids.

Hush little baby, don't say a word,
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns to brass,
Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass gets broke,
Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat.

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull.

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover won't bark,
Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Peanut drink

Fresco de Mania a surprisingly refreshing drink served in eastern Guatemala.
Peanut is one the characteristic crops of this arrid area. To make this drink peanut is grounded, then sugar, water and vanilla extract are added.
We had this drink at the fork that takes you to Asuncion Mita or Agua Blanca coming from Jutiapa.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Coming out of a school in Cobán, that is how most stories seem to start lately, there was a man eating what looked like an avocado. Same exclamation followed by same question: Buenas, como esta! Ala que es es eso? (Hello, How are you! What is it?)

Answer: Koyow. My interpretation a poor man's avocado. Similar look (more primitive), similar consistency (less smooth), taste mmm (bla). He gave it to me, said have it and advice me to eat it with lime and chile de Cobán (kind of cayenne pepper).

Talpas - Fruit

Walking out of the public school we were training in Asuncion Mita, Jutiapa, there she was the Talpa vendor!
I had never seen this fruit that was presented to us as a Salvadorean fruit, sometimes refered as mamones.

No surprise, I started inquiring about it. It is sold peeled in a bag of about 6 talpas, seasoned with gorund pumkin seed, salt, powder chicken broth (I know) and lime. Q2.00 a bag (25 US cents)

Talking with our vendor she told us she opens the fruit with a knife because the public health office trains the vendors every year on sanitary measures and for her one is no to open them using her fingernails.

It has the consistency of an offspring of a grape that married a jocote!! Big seed in the middle and juicy but more meaty.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Expression "No me des Atol con el dedo"

The expression "No me des Atol con el dedo" literally would be don't give me atole with the finger. I am trying to think of an equivalent expression.. All I think is "Don't try to @$# me".

If your teenager son comes back with an unbelievable story you might say "Porfavor! No me des atol con el dedo."

This atol in the picture is breakfast in Fray Bartolome de las Casas, Alta Verapaz. It was mystery Atol until we asked what it was. She said it was plantain atol, milk based. I couldn't not tell the plantain, I think she was trying to give us Atol con el dedo!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

El Chal, Dolores or Santa Ana?

El Chal is a town you by driving between Poptun and Flores. Half of it is El Chal, Dolores and the other half El Chal Santa, Ana so half of it is jurisdiction of the mayor of Santa Ana and half of the mayor Dolores. I learned, though, that in August they are hoping to make it is own municipio.

This is the "refresqueria" we stopped to eat pupusas and fruit drinks "liquados".

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rio Dulce, Izabal

After having been at 9000 feet above sea level in the mountains of Colorado, today I woke up to a crisp morning in Rio Dulce at a backpackers hotel by that name, right under the bridge of Rio Dulce, Izabal.

The restaurant is prime spot and the food is good, the facilities I give them a 5 on a hostel scale. I am still to find a good not expensive place to stay in Rio Dulce when having to stay for work.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

His and Hers pila.

I have had previous posts of pilas, which for some reason I just love.

This pila is fabulous because it has two "lavaderos" across from each other, perfect for washing and talking at the same time.

I said his and hers but in reality it is more like a hers and hers.

A pila like this might encourage me to wash something. Almost everything is better when done in the company of others.

Friday, May 3, 2013

San Luis Jilotepeque

Church restored by brilliant architect who happens to be my best friend's sister in law.
San Luis Jilotepeque a town in Jalapa, in that land most of the black beans in Guatemala are produced. Also birth place of one of my favorite poets Ismael Cerna.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our Cactus Elena

We bought this cactus last december in nursery in San Miguel Dueñas a town just outside Antigua. I highly recommend this place to buy flowers they are considerably less expensive and they have a great variety.

Anyway I have to blog about this interesting cactus which is an Opuntia Rufida and we have named Elena (like the daughter of Zeus from the Iliad). Just recently it grew this sprout we are waiting to see what will happen next!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


The word porch was a word I learned in my US elementary textbooks but could not experience it. At least in the city, where I grew up, back then there were no houses with porches. Porches always seemed so romantic particularly with a swing on them. 

Later I moved to the US and in every house we lived I thought "ok as a house warming gift lets put a swing in our porch", but I guess we were never long enough in a house to get one or as a dear friend says -it was just not the time then- .

Three weeks ago going to Peten I saw this place in Sanarate, El Progreso and my childhood/youth/adult dream kicked in again!!! So Friday going to Cobán I stopped and met this man who calls himself "Mr. Columpio" ( Mr. Swings). I gave him and advance payment and agreed to pick up the swing on my way back on Sunday, that he was to do over the weekend. Here we are in my new swing… never to late to make big and small dreams come true. 

BTW the swing was $60.00… pretty good right? It is a little rough quality but we shall apply some love to it to dude it up a little bit!!!

 PS. Still in the dream list the swing in the porch of a quaint yellow house.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meat Vendor

Meet vendor in the fork going left to Playa Grande Quiche and right o Chisec Coban km 258.
Saturday and Wednesday are market days.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Güisquil with egg

OMG there is something abou this dish that I just love!!!!
The güisquil grows in a vine and is mostly water but I just love it, as a salad as chilaquilas (watch my video on how to make them) or like this with egg.

Monday, March 4, 2013

San Pedro Pinula

San Pedro Pinula is a town in the eastern land of Jalapa.
The church surely dates back more than two centuries
The big town square has a basquetball court and an area for sitting or holding gatherings.
The market is behind the church it is small yet busy and quaint.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jutiapa Quesada and Juan Chapin

Pristine church at the town of Jutiapa Quesada a surprisingly fair size town off the highway. 
Investigating and asking the locals we found out this was at some point of time home to the famous literarian Jose Milla y Vidaurre who went also under the pen name Salome Jil.
I had forgotten he was the creator of the character "Juan Chapin" in the book "Un viaje al otro mundo pasando por otras partes" here is the link to download it: http://ia600403.us.archive.org/22/items/unviajealotmun03jilsguat/unviajealotmun03jilsguat.pdf

Saturday, February 16, 2013


View of Jutiapa from the third floor of the Regional Offices of the "Ministerio" of Education.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Road construction

In Guatemala a road construction is a disruption for some and a blessing for others.

One lane is closed so one direction is halted giving the opportunity to vendors to sell their goods. It is a wonderful chance to taste the local food. In this stop in Santa Rosa going to Jutiapa we savored "Pacayas" battered in eggs.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

San Franciso Peten

San Francisco, Peten, is a town about 15 minutes south drive from Flores.
We swung by it yesterday for work and I was impressed of how clean the town is, in addition there are at least 3 private schools and a big technical training center run by the government.
Because of its proximity to the "cabecera" capital of Peten, main work and commerce is done in Flores.
In the picture the well maintained central park. One could just pitch a tent and live in the middle of the soccer field!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My heart grew two sizes this Holiday

This is my third January in this house, yet I have not noticed these flowers.

I am so excited!!! It brought me back to my first spring in the USA. Since in Guatemala we live in eternal spring I had never seen spring coming. I was so sad I couldn not stand winter anymore so when signs of life started appearing I noticed everything! First the tulips and the the "fake pear" trees... which looked very similar to this one outside my window in Guatemala.

I think either my heart grew two sizes this Holiday and that allowed me to notice this sign of life or it is in fact a sign of a new era. Spring is in the air!


The fun play of words when someone asks coffee or tea?  Café o té? Then a witty reply is "Te quiero" which can be interpreted as "I want tea" or "I love you".

The Chirrepeco Tea, is a "traditional" black tea grown organically by a coop in San Juan Chamelco, Alta Verapaz.  It is named Chirrepeco because the first plantation was near a cave and in Queckchi language, "chirrepec" means "beside the cave". I have to say it is also very exciting to read in coop's webpage that they seem to be very intentional about gender equality.

The original packaging of the tea is almost magical. I was given two days ago the two boxes in the picture and as I am writing this post I am boiling water to prepare what it evokes an image of a magic potion, sold by a merchant with an unstoppable sales pitch and bought by all with faith that will cure all pains and perhaps even bring love!

I have yet to visit,  seems like a fabulous trip, the ECO TOUR of the plantation. I will make it a point to go this year as I go out and venture into my new projects in that region.

Water is ready.... Let's see what magical things this day will bring as I start it with a cup of hot Chirrepeco tea!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Public Bus self description

Feeling, elegance and evil are the words written on this bus.
Public Buses and transportation in Guatemala are a total disaster but can't argue with the owners' creativity to decorate them. I wonder what this bus driver concept of elegance is?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Santiago Sacatepequez

Santiago Sacatepequez is a windy town know for the gigantic kites flown in November 2nd but in my last and recent visit I discovered another highlight of Santiago: It's soccer field/stadium with probably one of the best views in town.
The picture does no justice, do check it out if around. Every time I run into these magical places I think again what a a privilege it is to live, play, work and love in such a beautiful country!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Erick Barrondo amongst Convite's famous Characters

At San Lucas Toliman the New Year's Parade (convite) is put up by a company of dancers dressed up as cartoon characters, super heroes and amongst them a first: A Guatemalan Olympic Super Hero.

There ate of each. The two Erick Barrondo's in the pic! (Erick Barrondo won the Silver Medal 20k race walk in London 2012)