I grew up greatly influenced by my mother's side of the family which is Nicaraguan (many of whom are living in Indiana currently) and not to mention, being born in Indiana, I consider myself a Hoosier.
Well, after my trip to the "Land of the Eternal Spring" I have flipped the switch on my Guatemalan side! It was an awakening, if you will, that there is more to life than what I have experienced and grown accustomed to in my own "little world" here in Indy. Experiencing this place put a lot of things into perspective.
But Overall, Guatemala is absolutely breathtaking! The climate is amazing living in higher elevations is much cooler with highs of 75 degrees. Of course, if it gets too chilly for you, well, you can drive down to lower elevations to toast yourself up in 85-90 degree climate. Many amazing firsts for me during this time. I got my very first stamp on my passport, first time on a plane, and first time out of the country. I am now relishing the fact that I can be a Hoosier, Pinolero, and a Chapin at any given moment! ;P
I only hope my photos can provide some insight on the Guatemalan experience.
FLYING OVER GUATEMALA
First stop: Antigua, Guatemala
My time in Antigua, Guatemala was one to remember. Every night the windows and doors would rattle for no more than 3 seconds. This was due to tremors from the volcanic activity surrounding the city. Pretty intense. The locals are used to it as we found out when a mini earthquake that lasted about 10 seconds flushed us out of our house only to find out we were the only ones in the street as the rest of the neighbors went about their business as usual.
Seeing Family for first time in Rio Bravo and Bolivia, Guatemala.
On our way to San Lucas, Guatemala.
Posing fun with dear friends of our family!
Back to Antigua, Guatemala
Rio Bravo, Guatemala = HOT!
Trekking through the Paso Misterioso (Mysterious Path) where your car mysteriously shuts off without notice. Ten minutes through the path, and what'dya know. Minivan is Kaput...
We finally Made it after a grueling 6 hours which was only supposed to take 3 but we listened to google instead of the locals. Bad mistake. We took a path that was nothing but dirt and rock alongside the mountains. Oh, and get this, it was decommissioned a few years back!! Very dangerous but we made it! Praise GOD!!! :D
Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala
We take a boat ride to Santa Catarina
I can now say I have swum in the Pacific Ocean!
We took a boat ride across what appeared to be a river? I still don't know. But we had to make this small trip to get to the ocean on the other side.
I swam next to a school of Manta Ray which I initially thought was a shark's dorsal fin when the lifeguards blew their whistle. I spooked myself because right before the whistle was blown, I sliced my finger after a gnarly wave dragged me through the shoreline. I thought the sharks caught a whiff of my blood that was gushing out at the time of the incident. haha
Final days spent in Antigua, Guatemala once more!
Local market outside of Antigua.
Gorgeous sunrise before we take off to Escuintla to visit the Auto Safari Chapin!
Pit stop to Santa Clara Monastery before we leave for the states. ;(