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Category Archives: Guatemala

Images From My First Trip to Atitlan


A Photographic Survey of the Lake Atitlan Towns

    COLUMBUS, OHIO–Ever since I first laid eyes on the blue expanse of Lake Atitlan, I have wondered about the towns surrounding her shores. Little by little I explored them over the years, mostly haphazardly, leaving many unseen. If I were to go back and look through my old journals I know I would […]

On the Campaign Trail With Enrique Rodriguez

GUATEMALA CITY—We came down out of the mountains, down the curves and switchbacks on the outside of Lake Atitlan’s caldera, dropping out of the highland fog into the thick night of Guatemala’s subtropical rainforest. Tall trees, dripping water, lined the road. It was late and the Central American night was unrelieved by light pollution so […]

Holy Week in Santiago: In Which I Explore the Largest Town on Lake Atitlan, Photograph Processions Both Catholic and Pagan and End up in the House of Maximon at Night.

PANAJACHEL—I stepped off the boat onto the floating dock at Santiago and clapped my wide-brimmed Panama hat tightly onto my head. I slung the light NorthFace Recon pack over one shoulder and the Domke F3X camera bag over the other and began the uphill hike up the main street to Hotel Ratzan. To my right was […]

Una broma de Piratas

PANAJACHEL– El bartender estaba limpiando su bar, cuando escucho unos pasos. El levantando la vista veía entrando un pirata. Entonces, el pirata le hablaba diciendo dame un ron. El tienen aspecto muy bravo y muy falo pero despues de dos copas de ron, el pirata ya se encontraba tranquilo. Entonces el bartender le pregunta, “Si […]

Interlude III: Send Liquor, Guns and Germans

PANAJACHEL–Years ago I was staying at a small hotel surrounded by jungle on a tributary of the Rio Dulce in Guatemala. The night was heavy with humidity, isolation and the smell of decaying vegetation. We sat in a small electric island surrounded by wet forest. There was an older German man who was very drunk. […]

F.A. Mitchell-Hedges describes Lake Atitlan

From “Land of Wonder and Fear”   by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, The Century Company, 1931. Page 113-114. “I shall never forget the next morning. Five thousand one hundred and fifty feet above sea-level lay Lake Atitlan, seventeen miles long, without a ripple, green-blue in colour, and completely surrounded by gigantic mountains. Rising sheer from the edge […]

Interlude II: Balto the Wonder Dog

SANTA CRUZ LA LAGUNA–The trail between Santa Cruz, Jaibalito, Tzununa and San Marcos is a fairly hard and spectacular trek. It is also the site of numerous robberies. The owners of La Iguana Perdida hostal have always had dogs, and good dogs at that, protective of guests, regulars and staff, unwelcoming to everyone else. But […]

Atitlan Blues

SANTA CRUZ LA LAGUNA, GUATEMALA—The water has risen by three meters. The docks around Lake Atitlan, in the Guatemalan Highlands, are awash. Patios and staircases and beaches are underwater. They say the average rainfall is around 50 inches and last year saw 75 inches. The lake has no outlet.  There are slippery boardwalks where once […]