Sort of like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so are facts because they are usually created based on experience. I have collected Guatemala facts based on my experience of living there. I’m not an expat, I just happen to also live there. I also live in Belize part of the time and Texas the rest. My goal for this year is to add Fiji on and live there most of the year.
I want to start out with one of my most epic moments in Guatemala. The night my son was born. I wanted him to have a cool birth story and he definitely has one.
This is the view from my terrace in Antigua, Guatemala. My son came into the world at home with the volcano blowing. The volcano’s name is Fuego (fire) and guess who has a fiery personality???!!! I’ve actually climbed this volcano. You could tell it was ready to blow when I was up there and they were ushering everyone down pretty quickly. There is nothing like sitting feet from lava pouring out of the crater. Talk about raw power. I also saw ants walking on the volcano sand that were as big as my hand.
Antigua is the place where the tourists go. Think of it like Fantasy Island inside Guatemala. It is run by Canadians so the whole operation of the town is very cultured and caters to tourists. I am not a huge tourist spot type of person but I have built some close friendships there and it will always have a place in my heart. Don’t get me started on the food that is available in Antigua. It really is the finest I have ever had anywhere in the world.
Lake Atilan is beautiful. Look at that scenery. It is a preferred place to live in Guatemala and is one of the wealthier places to live – like Antigua. The lake has its fair share of problems through. I personally would not swim in it. You can travel to one of the little islands and learn how the local Mayan women extract the dyes from nature for their beautiful textiles. You will also find a famous deity around here that out of respect for the sacred I have not posted. I have visited all the Guatemalan deities.
This is me participating in a Mayan ceremony done for me inside a church. This was done right before a great change in my life. I walked in, a priest looked at me and told me I was to undergo significant trauma and I had to be dedicated to make it through. What he saw happened 2.5 months later. This was his ceremony to me. What I don’t show is getting spit on with Florida water! Every ceremony I’ve been apart of in Guatemala all revolves around being spit on multiple times. Spit may be a harsh word- having cleansing water blown at you (head to toe) with force from the mouth of a Mayan priest is a more gentle way to put it. It is like a cleansing. He shared some of his prayers with me that were centuries old. I used them during my time of change.
Here is Almolonga. This is said (by missionaries) to be the place where God has lifted the curse on the land. You will see cabbage bigger than basketballs and carrots the size of water bottles – not my finger on the carrots but the finger of someone with really large hands. As with most things that intrigue me and my belief in magic, I went undercover to see what was happening from the local’s point of view. It turns out that while the vegetables are grown in the valley of the most dangerous volcanos in Guatemala, they fertilize and pesticide the heck out of the vegetables. Monsanto reigns supreme here. This town happens to have the highest incidence of sickness of all Guatemala due to all the chemicals. This town in all about farming and they are all being poisoned.
No trip to an area would be complete without visiting the Caribbean as often as possible. You can see the quietness of the ocean, the mangroves, and even doctor fish in the wild (last picture). This was very unexpected and way cool since I’ve always been interested in them. Doctor fish were made popular in Asia and will eat non healthy parts of your skin. My son had athletes foot and they ate it all away and he never suffered again. Gross, I know! However, we had done a tons of remedies on his foot and one trip to the doctor fish fixed it permanently. I sat in the lagoon with them but they didn’t find anything to chew away at. I am kinda thankful because the consensus said the fish hurt when they were tearing at your flesh!
This area also happens to have the sweetest and best pineapple around February/March time frame each year.
This is my land in Guatemala. I own a mountain where I have a biodynamic, heirloom finca (growing vegetables, fruit, herbs, medicinals, etc). I have a fresh mountain spring (3rd picture) that produces the most amazing tasting water. I have caves on the land that one day I want to explore. Anywhere where there is water, there are these incredible jasmine type flowers that fill the air with their fragrance. I also have a stream that has a pretty good rapids in some areas and a small area that is deep enough the swim and dive. It is cold, cold. I live up by the cloud forest so it gets pretty dang cold up there. In the second picture, you can see the clouds rolling in. It really is something to be able to reach out and touch clouds on a regular basis!
One final picture is one of my famous salsa made from our vegetables and some hot, hot local peppers.
I get to do what I do and live the life I want because I am not tied to a 9 to 5 job. I live my life according to what is important to me and I’m building my future. I ended up in Guatemala in search of a raw food community and ended up staying for so many reasons. Guatemala is not the only dream I live. It’s just part of the story. What’s your story? How do you dare to live?