Monday, May 17, 2010

Guatemala Adventure in Antigua

My family and I took an adventure to Guatemala. But where is Guatemala? It is in the middle of Central America right between Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. It was the center of the old Mayan world and you can still see many of their descendants today still living a traditional lifestyle and still speaking different Mayan dialects. There is also a very big Spanish culture and Spanish is Guatemala’s official language. The landscape is amazing because there are volcanoes, lakes, mountains, rainforests, and even dry places there. I had a wonderful time and I am going to blog about and share it with you.

Did you ever think you could be on boats and buses for 23 hours, that’s almost a complete day of 24 hours? We left Blackbird Caye in Belize about 8:00 in the morning and said goodbye to our little island. Then we arrived in Belize City and got on a shuttle bus us across Guatemalan border to a city called Flores. We had been there before and knew where to get a good dinner. This was not our final destination. Then we got on a big fancy bus at 9:00 at night and we traveled all through the night to Guatemala City. The air conditioning on the bus was freezing so I didn’t get a good night’s sleep because I was shivering. It was probably to keep the driver awake which is a good thing. Then we got on a third bus to Antigua which was the end of our journey for now.

The city of Antigua is over 500 years old. It used to be the old capitol of Guatemala so it had some really fancy buildings. The city went through a couple of bad earthquakes so the capitol was then moved to Guatemala City. So there are lots of ruins of the old city and some have been restored. We visited a few of those ruins like old churches and monasteries. The streets are still cobblestone which is when they use stones for paving instead of tar or cement. We found a busy beautiful town square called the Parque Central. It was more of a park than a central square with lots of live music and listeners. We saw many Mayan people in tradition dress who were in the park and all around the town. We also had lots of fun in a big big market where many people sold fruits and vegetable, as well as flowers. There were butchers and many many many more things like clothing.

We went to a Spanish language school for 4 hours a day over two weeks. My teachers name was Maria. She was really nice and very patient. We played games and learned lots of different Spanish words and how to use these words. I was really interested in the names of the plants and animals. So we spent lots of time in a beautiful courtyard learning them. My parents were at the school learning too, I had lots of fun going to school with my parents every day. The school also had activities and we went to an organic macadamia nut farm which was a lot of fun because we got to see macadamia nut trees as well as seeing the machines they use to crack them. Not was only was it an organic farm but the machines used no electricity. The used gravity to separate the nuts and cracked the nuts with a bicycle contraption. Another activity making tortillas from scratch and we cooked them over a wood fire. That school was a lot of fun!

One day after Spanish class we went to a 500 year old monastery which is now a restored 5 star hotel with beautiful grounds. There were lots of big trees, nice flower gardens a
nd beautiful fountains. My favorite part was the big scarlet macaws which are a type of parrot which were perched all around the place. They were really cool to watch and take photos of. They weren’t afraid of me and they even posed for me. I took photos for hours while my parents had a few cups of tea. It was one of my favorite places in Antigua.

Enjoy the videos....

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