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I´m Michelle and I am traveling in Latin America. I have always wanted to travel here and I finally left my home in Boston, MA in July 2013. I have been traveling since then, working here and there and continuously realizing that the world is filled with opportunities for exploration. I hope to travel for a long time but I always find a cozy place to stay for some time. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions I am more than happy to take you up on them. Live long, travel far, love often.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Xela, Tajamulco, Lago Atitlan y Antigua: GUATE

We arrived to Xela(shela) after a whole day and a half of buses. The terminal in Xela was chaotic, buses going everywhere, people selling eveything, people everywhere. It was beautiful chaos, and very Guatemalan. Xela offers many Spanish schools so there were many gringos and foreigners studying there. There are also a wide range of activities one can do. We choose to hike the highest volcano in Central America and hike for three days to beautiful Lake Atitlan. Finally, we ended up in Antigua before crossing the border to El Salvador.
Cemetary in Xela.
Mountains and volcanoes.
We hiked up to this volcano, Tajamulco. Elevación: 4,000 meters.
On top of Tajamulco.
Me in front of crater.
Me Diving into crater.
We Also camped just below the volcano.
Sunrise in the morn over volcano. Wow.
These clouds were making an electrical storm, hard to capture in camera.
I was all bundled up, hace frío!
The glorious sun!
That is actually a shadow or reflection of some sort, not a super perfectly shaped mountain.
Hike from Xela to Lago Atitlan.
All ready to hike for days in my "love stinks" shirt.
The views!
We stayed with local families on the hike. It was nice to see how they live. Miltiox! (Miltiosh) gracias in Quiché.
I liked this mural, in a local Puebla on the other side of the lake. It shows the Pre-Colombian past, the conflicts of Colonialism, and hopes for the future of the people of Guatemala.
We woke up early to hike up to see the view of Sunrise over the lake.
Me and Sunrise and lake.
The lake is surrounded by volcanoes and mountains.
After five days of hiking we parted ways with José our guide and headed to Panajachel on the other side of the lake.
Lago Atitlan from Panajachel.
Panajachel, filled with foreigners. 
Hot dogs are called cheveres. Which Also means "cool". Pretty chevere!
Local blouse wear for women.
These shirts were being sold everywhere. Charming...
Panajachel is Also the place where old gringo hippies come to retire. Livin' the dream.
Local women.
Local lady.
Local guy.
This is Concha. She has around 10 children, all males. She and her husband work very hard selling clothes and crafts and harvesting corn. She has had a stand on Pana for forty years, and has seen much change.
Antigua, also surrounded by mountains and filled to the brim with gringos. It is also referred to as gringolandia. I was overwhelmed by the overwhelming presence of my people, and their white, white legs.
I do see why gringos have choosen Antigua as their home away from home, it's beautiful.
El arcito.
Very colonial.
Pretty church. Next to the church was a make-shift mercado where you can grab a delicious bite to eat. It was cheaper and this was where the locals went. My favorite was rellenos: platano filled with beans, fried in oil and topped with sugar. Also, tostada topped with guac, lettuce, pickled beats, boiled egg, salsa and cheese. Also, arroz con leche which was warm and sweet and delicious to drink. I should probably just have a food blog, it is my passion.

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