The flight from Washington, DC to Guatemala City was longer than I anticipated. I could not believe how green everything is from the air. But the most amazing thing were the volcanoes!
I have heard that there are 37 volcanoes in tiny Guatemala. Food is not hot like in Mexico! Go figure, they are so close. At the hotel, 99+% of TV programs were dubbed into Spanish. There were programs that put the show on hold to provide a special translation to English terms of art.
Coming here made me understand better why the young Guatemalans are flocking to the US. It is a beautiful country, the people are kind, the food delicious. There are more than 40 indigenous groups, totally marginalized. It is obvious the Mayans have been dealt an ugly and bad blow. According to the UN Development Program, “more than 200,000 people died in Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, and over 45,000 “disappeared,” including an estimated 5,000 children. Ninety three percent of atrocities were carried out by the army.” In the northern part of the country there is no secondary education. Malnutrition, in a food producing country, is a problem.
What I saw in Guatemala City was a city that reminded me of certain parts of Madrid, Buenos Aires and even Rome. PBS has some interesting background on a complex country. I was sad to leave Guatemala and hope to return soon to explore further.