By Lauren McCarthy
We are all here! A few members of our group arrived early, but as of Wednesday at noon we have all made it safe and sound to Guatemala! We have had sunny and warm weather (about 75 degrees) and felt safe, although it is a bit conspicuous being with a group of 17 gringos.
After we got our luggage (and everyone’s arrived) and went through immigration and customs, we met our driver, Noah; tour leader Alfonso, and group leader Kira Walker, who were waiting for us.
We then took a tour through Guatemala City, which is a mix of colonial and modern architecture. Guatemala has dramatic topography, especially noticeable as you fly in. We went to a museum that features Mayan textiles (Ixchel Museo), stopped off for some cheese croissants at a panaderia, saw some improvised housing structures that went down the ravines of the city, and walked around our neighborhood a little.
We are in Zona 1, which is where the central plaza is. It features the Catedral Metropolitana, which Pope John Paul II visited three times during his papacy, the Palacio Nacional (which is green; our tour guide told me that they call it the Guacamolon, which means big guacamole), and the Biblioteca Nacional, which features aqueducts from ancient Mayan times, as well as water pipes from the colonial era and more recent days. Some members of our group even mixed with the locals in a little dancing! Our guide, Alfonso, from Four Directions was terrific and informative and it looks like Kira will be busy herding us along!
We leave Thursday morning from Guatemala City for our next adventure in Tecpan with MayaWorks. Stay posted for more!