a feeling thinking person can’t come to antigua or elsewhere in guatemala, admire the rich colonial tableau spread across the streets, and NOT have one’s mind turn back to the horrific events of the guatemalan civil war. more than 200,000 people killed. over 80% of them the mayan rural poor. HERE is a video detailing some of the history of this time. i thought it was quite good.
so here i am. i walk the streets i see the beauty, but i also carry with me an infintessimally small understanding of the history of violence and poverty of guatemala.
at night i read.
an 1899 travel guide to guatemala. fascinating! a book about a house and the very interesting couple who salvaged it. i finished the page-turner i mentioned in an earlier post. and now i am beginning to read about the birds and textiles. the banana republics. the list goes on and on…
one of the things i appreciate so much in houses i rent are the libraries of books that the readers of the house leave out for other readers. i love hunkering down at night in this OLD house and being transported to a literary historical wonderland.
i am in the dining room right now as i tap away on the keys of my laptop. 2 passageway doors to my right and left are open to a small and large courtyard. a shuttered window is open wide. cool air, hot coffee, shelves of books, and a sketchbook to fill. what shall i draw next?
I am venturing out late this afternoon so i can be out walking as the sun is setting. today i will visit some ruins, churches, and antigua’s 17th-century arco de santa catarina. (done!)
i hit the streets early this morning to buy milk for my coffee and to let my wet hair dry in the sun. i enjoy roaming in the early mornings and evenings the best. the highland light slants across the streets. the fleecy clouds are dusky and golden. and always la angigua sits practically in the shadow of the towering cone – vulcan de agua. she is mesmerizing. no matter where i am, inside or out, my eyes are constantly scanning the sky for the volcanoes. sometimes they are surrounded by clouds and you’d never imagine they were there! other times they rise straight up from the surrounding forests.
most of the pics today are from the popenoe house tour.
the house & grounds are stunning and especially interesting if you’ve been reading about the former owner, wilson popenoe – kansas boy turned botanist. then… agronomist for united fruit company.
the gardens are sprawling. lush. tropical foliage drapes over walls and climbs trees.
orchids rest in tree limbs. the gardens are guided, but not completely controlled. there is sense of wildness about them.
we climbed a child-sized spiral staircase to the roof for a view over antigua.
many of these plates are from spain.
the textiles worn & made by the women is heartbreakingly beautiful. the most intricate huipils you can imagine. all of the different villages have specialized techniques. when syd & mary arrive next week we’ll head out on a fact-finding mission & shopping excursion. with a guide present i’ll feel more at ease taking photos of the women in their attire. we also have a chicken bus adventure planned.
i’m off to lago de atitlan on sunday. as always when i travel alone, i enjoy reading your comments at the end of the day. good to have you along for the ride. xo.