The Largest City In Central America

Guatemala City

Overview

Central America is the ‘slim’ portion of land that connects the North with the South of the American continent. It can be seen as a cultural bridge of big importance for humanity and also for the fauna that for centuries have been migrating from one region to another. In Central America you can find seven different countries which are, somehow connected with traditions and ways of living. Nicaragua is the biggest country, though Guatemala hosts the largest city in Central America with 3 million inhabitants.

Though this was not always the case… Here is a quick summary of how the Capital of Guatemala (also referred to as Guate by locals) was formed to what it is nowadays. Read more…

Traveling in Guatemala / Security

Guatemala is a diverse country and visitors will find a little bit of everything and everything is beautiful. If you are traveling to Guatemala you need to know some facts. First of all, is not as dangerous as you hear in the news. News is made to talk about bad things happening and omit the good and positive. Like the proverb says: no news is good news.  Obviously you have to take precautions when traveling in Guatemala and to any country you are not familiar with. Daily live is different especially in large cities and there are things you should avoid in order to not have problems or being the victim of a crime.

An excellent option is not to adventure on your own. Guatemala is not an expensive country and you can enjoy a safe budget vacation, but it doesn’t hurt to spend a little extra on safety. The public transportation system is out of date and complicated and if you do not know the roads it is not safe to drive a rental car either. A GPS helps but it could take you on a wrong path since it is not like using it in in Europe or the US. Some of the information is not up to date or fully correct or might take you on a dangerous road. An expert driver with a private vehicle will know which roads not to take for safety or because they are not in good condition. Read more…

All Saints’ Day

Celebration of All Saints’ Day, elaboration of giant kites and other traditions in Guatemala

On November 1 Guatemala celebrates the day of all the Saints. On this day several specialty dishes and sweets are made, among other “Fiambre”. It contains several types of vegetables, meats, sausages, chicken, cheeses and spices. The All Saints’ tradition is rooted in Guatemalan for a long time.

People also visit the graves of their loved ones. Some of them start prepping the tombs days before the All Saints’ Day to make sure they look pretty. On November 1st they gather at the cemeteries to bring flowers and offerings to their deceased relatives. This is the way they pay tribute to people who are no longer with them. Most people also take food to eat at the cemetery with their loved ones. Read more…

Climate in Guatemala

Due to the geographical position of Guatemala, the climate does not change much during the year and the seasons are not like in most other countries. Guatemala is known as the country of the eternal spring. The country is always green and lush.

There are only two seasons in Guatemala, the dry and the rainy season. The dry season is the best time to visit and it lasts from November to May. The rainy season is between June and October with more rain falling in September and October. During the rainy season there are days without rain but sometimes it can rain two or three days in a row. Read more…

Mayan Cities in Guatemala

Guatemala, Cradle of Maya Civilization, has an archeological wealth with monumental sites all over the country, which date back more than 3,500 years.

Let’s start with the periods of the Mayan Civilization. The experts in Archeology have learned that the Mayan Civilization is divided for its study in general chronological periods that vary according to the site:

Early Preclassic, Middle Preclassic, Late Preclasic, Protoclassic, Early Classic, Late Classic, Epiclassic or Terminal Preclássic (not all the experts agree on the name), Early Postclassic and Late Postclassic.

In Guatemala, the Mayans built one of the most refined civilizations of the world and history. Between the most important Mayan cities we can find The National Park El Mirador – Rio Azul (Blue River) and Tikal National Park, this last one was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in in 1979. Read more…

Christmas season in Guatemala

We are in that time of the year, when the time passes faster. Guatemala is full with the Christmas spirit starting in November, not only the stores and malls are already all decorated for the season; people are more relaxed and joyful.

Guatemalans are very religious people, that is why all the religious celebrations are traditional in Guatemala and December is one of the most important months for celebrations. The starting point of the festivities in December and the Christmas season is “La Quema del Diablo” or the devil’s burning.

Devil piñata burning in Guatemala. (Photograph by Byron Mármol)
Devil piñata burning in Guatemala. (Photograph by Byron Mármol)

The devil’s burning has its base in the Immaculate Conception of Mary feast day, celebrated on December 8th. The devil’s burning starts at 6:00pm on December 7th, and is a magical/religious Guatemalan celebration; it coincides with the 9 months memorial of Mary and the Advent of Jesus. This ritual is symbol of spiritual clean up. At 6:00pm people set fire to all the trash that symbolizes all the bad fillings and impurity in their life. Read more…