Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lago de Atitlan

Apologies for the delay in actually posting pictures and anything interesting about my trip to Guatemala. Subsequent trips to Yosemite and now Philadelphia have led to a backlog of blog posts. For all of my five readers.

So here is the first weekend of my trip, a visit to Lago de Atitlan.

(If you click on the slideshow it will take you to the Picasa album so you can skip the boring pictures)
Lago de Atitlan is a good sized lake that's a prime destination for tourists. If you look at my pictures of the cute little towns and lush green volcanoes surrounding the lake, you might get an idea of why. Below is a panoramic of El Lago, courtesy of Katie, another teacher in my travel group.

My favorite part of the weekend was the trip to Santiago and my first taste of the blending between indigenous and colonial/Spanish Guatemalan cultures. The church in Santiago, like many churches in Guatemala, has prominent features reflecting the melding of cultures. First, what do those steps remind you of? If you answered "A Mayan Temple," you are correct.

From Guatemala - Panajachel Lago de Atitlan

A feature unique to Santiago is that it is supposed to be the place where the Mayan gods came down to Earth to give humans the gift of knowledge. Naturally, this is showcased in the town's Catholic church. Here's a picture of the altar with a beautiful carving of a quetzal handing a book over to Man. (If you want a closer-up view, click on the picture and then zoom in. It'll be blurry, but you'll get the idea)

From Guatemala - Panajachel Lago de Atitlan

Coming soon: more cultural blending with Maximon AKA San Simon AKA Who is this Effigy?

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