Yeah, these are pretty old photos, it’s true. Like my photos of Cuba, they’re from an old film camera and digitized on a cheap flat bed scanner. Consequently, there’s nothing very special about the image quality.
Also like Cuba, they’re special to me because Guatemala is special, and the memories of my first time out of the country (except for Canada) at the tender age of 22 have stuck with me.
I left in the fall of 1991 with the plan of going to a language school to work on the Spanish I’d been studying at UCSC for two years. Originally, I was going to study in Mexico – Oaxaca most likely.
Plans change, and after working my way south through Mexico and talking to people along the way, I realized that Guatemala was beautiful, interesting, and a far cheaper option for a language school.
Hence, I found myself crossing the border on foot sometime in October, ’91, with a nasty cold and only a vague idea of where I was going. Aside from the cold, that’s not a bad way to roll.
I remember beautiful mountains, amazing ruins, gentle people, and a diverse and interesting country with a troubled past and a remarkable depth of spirit. I’m sure it still is. I’ve known a few people who’ve been to Casa Xelaju de Español since I was there too, and it’s still great.
So, go see it. Enjoy some volcanoes, delicious black beans, the amazing ruins of Tikal, and some of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. You won’t be disappointed.