San Juan is a small, tranquil village of around 3000, with limited tourist activity or accommodations,
it does have a bank with an ATM, which is not available in San Marcos (and we were thankful for this.) Forty murals decorate the buildings throughout this clean little town, primarily depicting historical events. Earthquakes, hurricanes, mud slides, war and sometimes just day to day live are the theme on the works completed through the years by a variety of artists.
children to supplement the income of their husbands, who often earn less than $5.00 a day, but also for many women who were widowed during the Civil War which raged in the country from 1960 to 1996, leaving the women as the sole breadwinner. Organizing into the coops opened many doors, providing families with sufficient income to feed and educate their children.
incredibly beautiful hand woven pieces. The woven pieces were the focus of our exploration. The women start the process by cultivating the cotton, removing the seeds by hand, spinning the thread, dyeing the thread with natural dyes made from tree bark, vegetables, insects, leaves or flowers, and finally weaving the fabric. Designs and colors used in the fabrics vary throughout Guatemala depending on the local Mayan traditions. The thread is woven into scarves, placemats, shawls, tablecloths, table runners, clothing, purses, etc. One difference with the shopping experience in San Juan is the limited negotiations that the women will allow on their goods. Items are priced, and in most cases the price will remain firm. Considering the work which has gone into each piece, they are worth every quetzales!
|Remnants of San Juan waterfront area|
Utilizing the public boat to the town of Santiago, we were taken in by an English speaking local, who
|Young boy fishing at the Santiago dock using only fishing line.|
Located beneath 3 volcanos, this city of 33,000 has the largest indigenous population in Central
Sunday morning started with a 1 1/2 hour shuttle trip to the Chichi market. Thousands of
|Small portion of Chichi market|
|Best tortillas in San Juan|
|Cabbage headed for San Marcos|
|On steps of church in Santiago|
|Along the road to San Marcos|
|Chicken for dinner?|
|Chichi market traffic chaos|
|People on the step of the church in Chichi|
|Burning incense at the church|
|San Juan barber|