El Baul | GuatexplorerEl Baul was an archaeological site located on a private land near the town of Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa. Nobody has protected it as a public good, so the site itself is almost gone. What you can do is to pay a visit to the small museum in the open to see the carved stones found there. They will not even charge you the entrance fee.

Sugar cane | GuatexplorerImmediately after the conquest of Guatemala, new landlords started cultivation of the sugar cane. The story says that it started on the Lake Amatitlán in 1536, but soon areas of Jilotepeque, Escuintla, Guazacapán and Verapaz became known for sugar production. Interestingly, this new industry was taken over by Catholic Church missionaries, members of the various orders like Jesuits, Mercedarians, Dominicans and Augustinians.

reu trains02Train network was started in Guatemala in 1877.  Narrow gauge was chosen (3 ft.) to fulfill the needs of transportation of various goods, mainly fruits and coffee. History of railroads in Guatemala is connected with activities of United Fruit Company, and at the peak of now abandoned system, railroad connected Atlantic with Pacific, having several other branches towards Mexico and in Alta Verapaz.

iximche01Iximche is a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site in the western highlands of Guatemala, some 90 km from the capital. Iximche was the capital of the Late Postclassic Kaqchikel Maya kingdom from 1470 until its abandonment in 1524.

The architecture of the site included a number of pyramid-temples, palaces, and two Mesoamerican ballcourts.

zaculeu01Zaculeu or Saqulew is a pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site in the highlands of western Guatemala, about 3.7 kilometers (2.3 mi) outside of the modern city of Huehuetenango.

Occupation at the site dates back as far as the Early Classic period (AD 250–600) of Mesoamerican history. Zaculeu was the capital of the Postclassic Mam kingdom and was conquered by the K’iche’ Kingdom of Q’umarkaj, displaying a mixture of Mam and K’iche’ style architecture. In AD 1525 the city was attacked by Spanish conquistadors under Gonzalo de Alvarado y Chávez during a siege that lasted several months. Kayb’il B’alam, the city’s last ruler, finally surrendered due to starvation.

palace00Actually known as Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace of Culture), it is identified as Guatemala City’s symbol in its monumental architectural context. It was the most important building in Guatemala and was the headquarters of the President of Guatemala. The building is the origin of all the roads in the Republic and has a spot known as Kilometro Cero (Zero Kilometer). It is actually a museum and also is used for important acts of the government.

 

sumpango01To be in Sumpango on a day when they make and exhibit gigantic kites is precious; this festival is more and more popular among visitors of Guatemala. And that day is called Day of the dead – 1st of November.

Flying kites is an important part of various ceremonies that surround that day. It is widely believed that by doing this you get in touch with your deceased ancestors. Local climate provides you with winds in that period, making kites is a widespread skill in some areas of the country, so all things are set for this incredible event.

alfombra00Alfombra is a carpet, usually made of sand and other materials during Semana Santa. The custom is brought by Spanish, although some sources describe almost similar tradition among Tlaxcala Indians. It takes a lot of work to make one «alfombra» – if it is 12 X 5 meters large, team of six people will take some 12 hours of very hard and precise work.

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