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Posts Tagged ‘guatemala’

Busing Between Cultures

Monday, January 28th, 2008

It is around 9:45, and I am perched on the edge of a bus seat, two fellow passengers to my left and three to my right. Thushan and I are on a “chicken bus”—an exciting term for what actually amounts to a yellow school bus that occasionally also transports live chicken, but even then, usually on the roof—headed to Guatemala City from Panajachel, a lake town that has volcanoes like New Zealand has sheep.

Late for our connecting bus to El Salvador, we’re somewhere in the mountains north of the city and it’s foggy, or maybe cloudy. Either way, there is about three feet of visibility, and our driver decides to pull one of the usual bus driver moves here: passing in a no passing zone. Even under normal conditions, this can be quite nerve wracking, given that it’s usually done at unsafe speeds on mountain cliffs, but I generally give them the benefit of the doubt since they act like they know what they are doing. In this case, however, I truly think I might die. (more…)

The Count: Spending a bit more than we’d like

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Our average rose to $30 a day as we bolted through the rest of Central America during our fourth week on the road. While we were able to keep food costs down, our travel and lodging costs rose significantly with numerous coach bus rides to get through five countries, quickly and in comfort. (more…)

Leaving Guatemala for El Salvador

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Greetings from El Salvador, where everyone packs heat and you expect to see Carleton Heston around the corner! We hop on another long distance bus to begin our bolt from Guatemala to Nicaragua. Hop on the bus in today’s photo gallery.

What a sight: Lago Atitlan

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Moving on, we head out of Xela, again on a chicken bus, to Central America’s deepest lake. Picture perfect Lago Atitlan and its conical volcanoes, dominates the scene, and this photo gallery of our day in Panajachel.

The Count: Dropping the average in Guatemala

Monday, January 21st, 2008

The prices baffled us in Guatemala – we found food costs high, but our lodging costs went down to a mere $6 a day at points. Quetzaltenango is seemingly designed for extended stays, with numerous guest houses to provide a home for the booming language school scene in town. We took advantage of one of these guest houses, and stayed at one place for five nights for $30 each – and we had our own rooms.

The Count: week three

Down time in Quetzaltenango

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

church

Our final day in Quetzaltenango was a lazy Sunday and, along with the rest of the city, we decided to take it easy. After a quick hike up a nearby peak and a daring display of motorcycle riding, we settled down in an empty bar to watch the Patriots. Take a chill pill with us in today’s photo gallery…

Golden teeth

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

We’re on our way up a curvy mountain road to the sizzling mineral baths of Fuentes Georginas, riding in the flatbed of a camioneta – a pickup truck that doubles as taxi and delivery truck in rural towns like Zunil, Guatemala. Halfway through town, the driver—whom we’ve paid the equivalent of $3 for an 8-kilometer (about 5-mile) drive—slows and shouts to a 20-something man who is ambling along with a group of men. The man, two Coke cans in hand, deftly pulls himself into the flatbed with us as the driver hits the gas.

Almost instantly and without any reservation, he greets us in nearly flawless English, “Where are you guys from?” he asks.

Immediately, my eyes are drawn to his mouth full of bling. Try as I might, I can’t help but notice his two gold-plated canines. While it is definitely not rare to see the indigenous people of Guatemala with full-on golden grills, witnessing this young man’s mouth of Olympic gold up close makes it harder than normal for this foreigner not to give in and stare. His mouth – both the English and the shine flowing freely from it – is certainly not his only distinctive characteristic. His slightly baggy pants and dark blue denim coat atop a white tee are not-oft-seen reflections of the west in a sea of straw hats, flannel shirts and bolts of colorful floral cloth.

This is Sebastian, and he has golden teeth. (more…)

Taking a hot dip

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Guatemala is ripe with volcanic activity, leading to some impressive live volcanoes, and today’s jaunt: the mineral baths of Fuentes Georginas. Surrounded by lush mountain vegetation and bathed in steamy hot waters, this was a sight tough to beat. Jump in, and relax in the baths of today’s photo gallery.

The first month: Central America here we come…

Monday, December 31st, 2007

The first month of our journey around the globe will take us to five of the eight countries that lie south of the U.S. and north of the South American continent. After landing in Mexico’s capital on New Years Day, we will travel by land through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, skipping over Belize and Panama. The daily itinerary of our trip will depend partly on what we happen to find in the places we go, but tentatively, the plan is as follows… (more…)

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contributors

Thushan Amarasiriwardena

, former Senior Multimedia Producer at The Boston Globe, has always loved telling a great story. Combining his eye for visual story telling and his technical background in computer science at North Carolina State University, Thushan has reported on business, sports and travel for The Globe. You can find his site here.

Michael Kurtz

, graduated with a degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His thesis research focused on the intersection of race and music in Northeastern Brazil. He worked previously as A&R and Production Coordinator for Putumayo World Music, an international music record label based in New York City. You can find his site here.

Brian Rogers

graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and has traveled extensively in Latin America.

Alicia Conway

is LongJaunt's home base chief and a Technical Producer for The Boston Globe. She joined and contributed with the team out in England, Kenya, Tanzania, The Netherlands and Thailand.