Day two in Guatemala - Venturing out

Trip Start Aug 26, 2007
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Saturday, September 29, 2007

We enjoyed a wonderful Chapin breakfast at the hotel. It was such a pleasant experience, surrounded by the lush, green gardens and a fountain. We chatted with Miguel, our waiter, and like Andres from yesterday, he thought we were Honduran due to our accent. Interesting.
We learned from Andres that the word "Chapin" comes from the ancient Guachipilin tree, which the indigenous people of Guatemala used to make shoes from many, many years ago, and hence the word "Chapinlandia" was born! At least that's Andres' version!
He also shared that people from La Antigua are called "Panza Verde", which means "Green Gut," because of how heavily their economy relied on the farming of avocados. YUM.
After breakfast, we joined an extremely friendly Benigno, for a tour of the outskirts of La Antigua and bordering neighborhoods. We visited San Antonio de Aguas Calientes, where we saw the open-air water repositories where the local women washed their clothes. We also visited a shop where the same women that weave the fabrics, sell their goods. The people in this town are definitely shyer. Benigno explained that this mountain town was heavily affected by the guerrilla conflict that took place 12 years ago. Even though the conflict ended 10 years ago when a peace treaty was signed between the guerrillas and the Guatemalan National Army, many of the residents were still weary of us approaching them.
We also visited Ciudad Vieja, which was the first capital city of Guatemala, until it was destroyed by an eruption of the Water Volcano. Other stops on our drive, were Santa Ana, San Lorenzo de Cubos, San Pedro de Huertas and San Miguel de Escobar, which was in full celebration of its patron saint. We ended the morning with a stop at the lookout point "Mirador de la Santa Cruz," for a breathtaking view of the city, before we headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Costa Rica.  
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