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Chichi Market and Beautiful Antigua
Guatemala Classico Trip

(Monika Sundem)
Today we came back across the lake to Panajachel and from there took off to visit Chichi market. One of the largest in the area (particularly on Sundays) there were so many vendors. We spent some time wandering through here and then headed to see the cemetery where many brightly painted tombs cover the hillside. We had the treat of seeing some Maya women burning incense and making offerings on one particular grave site. We saw this happen as well on the steps to the entrance of the Catholic Church there. It was interesting to learn from Hugo how the 2 religions have become so mixed over ht years, and how many claim to pray to Maya gods and Catholic saints and believe in both. After lunch at Hotel Santo Tomas in Chichi, we took off to head to Antigua. Along the way, we stopped to visit a privately owned coffee plantation just outside the city. We were not there during the harvest time, so we were only able to see a video discussing the process, but it was fascinating still to learn about the many steps that go into making a small bean such a highly demanded commodity. We came in then to Antigua and checked into our hotel, La Aurora. You would not know it, but from the outside it looks like just another building, but on the inside is the most beautiful courtyard with babbling fountain and beautiful flowers, a very peaceful retreat in the middle of the bustling city. In the evening, we met first with Luis, from the in-country office we work with. We grabbed a cup of coffee together, and then sat around the central plaza chatting. I very much appreciated getting the chance to meet face to face a person I work with on a daily basis! After parting ways, my husband and I went off in search of a good restaurant. We settled on Fonda de la Calle Real, which is now probably my favorite option. After dinner, we headed back for the evening.

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