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Quetzaltenango and the New Year that didn’t go to plan

Quetzaltenango is Guatemala’s second city. One theory (mine) is that the city grew quicker and larger than anyone expected and by the time they realised the mistake they’d made in picking such a complicated name for a major place it was too late. So the name of Quetzaltenango had to stay. Thankfully, most folks now […]

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Pacaya volcano, Guatemala – how NOT to see it

Before we even landed on the American continent, the visit to the active slopes of Volcan Pacaya was at the top of our list of anticipated experiences. Having stood on Kilauea in Hawaii 10 years ago and gasped in wonder as molten lava flowed past our feet we were excited at the prospect of a […]

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Antigua, Guatemala: historic marvel or tourist trap?

Step along any of the cobbled streets of Antigua and reminders of its past glory are everywhere to be seen. The weary old buildings that have survived both age and numerous earthquakes bare their scars openly and without shame. The streets themselves obey strictly the grid pattern that is typical of most cities in Central […]

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Travels in Guatemala: a day on the chicken bus

The boxes of white pills were passed around by the curious passengers, who read the home-printed labels with varying levels of interest. Meanwhile, the salesman continued with his monologue. Back ache? Abdominal pains? Infertility? Pregnancy? Depression? Arthritis? Cancer? These pills would cure whatever it is that troubled you, and a packet could be yours for […]

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