Christmas 2015 in Guatemala: Part 1

Duncan and I spent Christmas and New Years 2015 in Guatemala.
We began in Antigua where we stayed at Finca Filadelfia, an old coffee plantation.  The coffee plantation is still functioning and we were able to take a tour of the plants and the factory.  All I am drinking these days is Guatemalan coffee.  When we ran out of the Finca Filadelfia beans we brought back I luckily found a Guatemalan bean from Batdorf & Bronson.

Driving up to the hotel

The beautiful grounds

The top left balcony was where we stayed.

We walked past this beautiful wood carving and poinsettia every time we went to our room.
All of the plants in Guatemala were so old and established and larger than any I've ever seen here in the US. We were with my mother in law who knows the name of practically every plant so she was able to identify them for me.

This one did have her stumped.

Haciendas on the plantation grounds.
We were surrounded by volcanos in Guatemala, this was our view from our room at Finca Fildelfia.
We went to Chichicastenango one day which is a small town known for its market.  I fell in love with the colors and textiles of Guatemala.  I couldn't get enough of their embroidered tapestries and woven fabrics.  We were able to visit a co-op that gave us a demonstration of how they take a cotton boll, turn it into yarn, dye it, then weave it.  I bought a beautiful ikat scarf from the women there.
One of the halls of goods being sold at the Chichicastenango Market


Typical mother baby/scene, I had this image blown up and framed for my living room.

Flowers for sale in addition to woven goods, live chickens, leather goods, you name it.
We spent several nights in Santiago at a resort called Pasada de Santiago.  Right on Lake Atitlan, Pasada de Santiago was actually a compound of Casitas (small huts), a main dining building and a thatched roof pavilion with a bar that overlooked the pool and the lake.
Lake Atitlan is surrounded by several volcanos, some still active.

Our view every afternoon at cocktail hour.

Air plants are popular here in the US but are considered a parasite in Guatemala.  They were huge and could be seen in a lot of the trees.
Our casita, rustic but adorable.
At night when we went to bed we lit a fire and read by candlelight.  There was electricity but it was so peaceful to have a fire with the windows open, something we never get to do at home.

The landscape is full of beautiful flowering plants and trees.

One of my favorite pictures of the fishermen at dusk.
We went village hopping by boat each day.
Back in Antigua, there were plenty of ruins to explore.  Most of the buildings in this colonial city had a Spanish Baroque influenced architecture.  Antigua was once the capital of Guatemala until an earthquake devastated the city's structures and inhabitants.  The city never recovered and the capital was moved to Guatemala City.  Most of the buildings were never restored so you will see simply the facades of churches with rubble behind them. 

There are some buildings like this old convent that did survive.  Bougainvillea grows on just about every structure.


Details of one of the churches in Antigua

Beautiful ironwork.
I fell in love with this country and its people and can't wait to go back.