San Marcos has one street running through the middle, everything else is reached by meandering
|Road going through San Marcos, lined with tuk tuks|
The villages surrounding Lake Attilan are connected by small boats and ferry services that run between the points. The other primary mode of transportation is the tuk tuk, the local version of the taxi service. The small, three-wheeled vehicles are about the size of a golf cart and they carry locals and tourists to the nearby villages for the equivalent of a couple of dollars. Frequently, the small vehicles can be seen loaded down with several people plus their load of product coming to or from the market place, somewhat reminiscent of the clown stuffed vehicle at the circus.
Yoga, meditation, holistIc healing and spiritualism are at the core of the foreign community in the village. In conjunction with this, there is the native Mayan Guatemalan culture. Dressed in the traditional brightly colored, home woven fabrics and speaking the Mayan dialect for this region, it creates an interesting variety in the community.
|Our kitchen windows|
Having researched the various accommodations in San Marcos, we had decided on Hotel Aaculaax for a couple of reasons. They had earned glowing reviews from previous guests, but primarily because they were the only place, for short-term rental, that offered a kitchen. This allowed us to take advantage of the myriad of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the area, and allowed Alan to eat before heading out to work at 8 A.M., since none of the restaurants in the village open until 8. Beautifully maintained gardens and artfully designed rustic rooms are the calling card for the hotel. Recycled Arte, utilizing papier-mache, broken glass and ceramics, creates the unique windows on the property.
The 300 square foot home consist of two rooms with 3 windows, a locking door, a concrete floor and a corrugated metal roof. The structures are basic but a far cry from the sugar cane or corn stalk lashed walls that are providing housing for so many of the Guatemalans at this time. The homes are built for $2000 to $3000, all from donations, and are completed within 10 days with the help of a small paid crew and a number of volunteers. Check out their website at: Guatemala Housing Alliance
As Alan headed up the mountain via tuk tuk each morning, I spent the days studying Spanish, shopping in the market places, writing and talking with the transplants. The weekend brought some other stories but that is another blog.
|Village basketball court|
|Small hand pushed ferris wheel|
|One of the village pathways|
|Our dining room in the gardens|
|One of the many birds sighted in the garden|
|San Marcos Catholic church|