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A country of northern Central America. The site of a Mayan civilization dating back to 1500 b.c., the area was conquered by Spain in 1524. After independence was achieved (1821), Guatemala joined in a federation of Central American states (1825-1838) before becoming a separate republic in 1839. Guatemala is the capital and the largest city. Population: 12,700,000. 2. also Guatemala City The capital and largest city of Guatemala, in the south-central part of the country. Founded on its present site in 1776, it was rebuilt after major earthquakes in 1917 and 1918. Population: 942,000.
Antigua Guatemala has such a cornucopia of dining establishments that you need not worry about going hungry. In fact, while some places are better than others, I do not recall ever having a bad meal while dining in this lovely Spanish colonial town.
International cuisine can be enjoyed in first-class hotels and Antigua Guatemala restaurants. Finding Guatemala Beef that is as tender that found in Antigua Guatemala restaurants is not that easy.
Guatemala Meat found at most markets in Guatemala can be best described at hard to chew. Cattle in Guatemala are mostly Grass Fed which is not an issue. In the US for example, Grass Fed Beef is prized drawing higher prices in most markets.
Not the case for Meat in Guatemala. Guatemala Beef is not the same story. While the quality of Guatemala meat is excellent the lack of correct processing of the cattle results in beef that has a gamy flavor much like deer or venison. The fact that what is called the silver skin which is found in Venison is not removed from Guatemala Beef when they are killed and processed for eating. This results in meat that is tough.
An enterprising group in Guatemala has studied this problem for some time. Reaching out to the US for advise not the idea of importing beef or processed meats from the US which was not the option. The question how to take Guatemala beef and to age the meat to reach the standards the US has achieved was the goal?
The answer came from the State of Wisconsin of all places. A small company in Wisconsin with third generation butchers in the family gave this enterprising Guatemala Group the answer to the problem of tough meat in Guatemala. Age the beef either dry or wet.
Beef aging is the process of preparing beef for consumption, mainly by breaking down the connective tissue. Two options are available.
Dry-aged beef is beef that has been hung to dry for several weeks. After the animal is slaughtered and cleaned, either an entire half will be hung, or prime cuts (large distinct sections) will be placed in a cooler fridge, also known as a “hot box”.
Wet-aged beef is beef that has typically been aged in a vacuum-sealed bag to retain its moisture. This is the dominant mode of aging beef in the United States today. Wet-aging is popular because it takes less time (typically only a few days) and none of the weight is lost in the process. In contrast, dry-aging can take 15–28 days, and will see up to a third or more of the weight lost as moisture.
Both processes have been tested by this group with amazing results of Restaurant grade Taste and Flavor with mouth watering Tenderness out of plain Guatemala Beef.
Now this group plans to start offering aged beef in Antigua Guatemala and Lake Atitlan by mid September of 2012.
The group will offer a wholesale side for Restaurants in Antigua Guatemala and Lake Atitlan.
For the local Gringo’s that have chewed there way through Guatemala Beef yes they will have a chance for of all things home deliver. Working with DegustaExpress Shop anyone can order Steaks like one would find in the US at a fraction of the price of Imported US beef.
Where’s the BEEF Guatemala? Aged Meat comes to Antigua
GUATEMALA WEATHER - TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT GUATEMALA WEATHER may be effected by Tripical Storm ERNESTO. Tropical Storm Ernesto has the potential to become a Hurricane. TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO ADVISORY NUMBER 20A NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052012 TRANSLATION ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR 200 PM EDT MONDAY AUGUST 6, 2012
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR …
* THE COAST OF HONDURAS FROM WEST OF THE BORDER TO PUNTA SAL
HONDURAS AND GUATEMALA
* FROM NORTH OF CANCUN TO TULUM ON THE EAST COAST OF THE
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS
AT 2:00 PM EDT … 1800 UTC … THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM
ERNESTO WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.2 NORTH … LONGITUDE
81.1 WEST. ERNESTO IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR
HOURS OF 12 MPH … 19 KM PER HOUR … AND IS EXPECTED TO
THIS MOTION TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS. IN THE
FORECAST TRACK … THE CENTER WILL BE GOING TO ERNESTO
NORTH COAST OF HONDURAS TONIGHT AND TUESDAY … AND APPROACH
THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA EARLY WEDNESDAY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 65 MPH
TIME … 100 MILES PER HOUR … WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME
STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST … AND ERNESTO COULD BECOME A
HURRICANE TONIGHT. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE BEFORE
FORCE WINDS EXTEND TROPICAL STORM OUT
UP TO 125 MILES … 205 KM FROM THE CENTER.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 996 MB … 29.41
The way Visitors makes choices for Travel to Guatemala is changing for the good.
85% of Travelers making Travel plans about Guatemala Travel do so on-line. How the Guatemala Travel audience by country of Traveler origin is broken down will surprise most in the Guatemala Travel industry.
Today the talk in major Guatemalan Tourism Markets such as Antigua Guatemala for example is that Tourism and Guatemala Travel in general is down, not true. The problem Antigua Guatemala faces is two fold, an oversupply of product and poor use or implementation of web sites representing Hotels, Hostels, Restaurants, Tour Operators and Bars. With 167 Hotels listed in Antigua Guatemala according the Guatemalan Embassy only 61 have web sites. Of those 61 only 11 offer any form of on-line booking service which in most cases is through travel giant Expedia.
Further to the problem of Antigua Guatemala is the fact that web sites that do exist feel they need to be in Spanish. Hardly the right thinking when 61% of the travel audience considering travel to Guatemala only speak English. Guatemala Tourism Operators appear to Lack the understanding that Advertising in local market publications and other forms of print marketing is targeted after the customer has arrived not prior.
Today 85% of the traveling public have already made the choices of places to visit in Guatemala before they ever board the air plane. Most if not all of the Guatemala Travel decisions are made from on-line search results that present information about Guatemala Travel which is another problem. Web sites that appear to be information sites about Guatemala Travel are often not that at all. Those that are about Travel information for Guatemala are cluttered with Banner Ads. All which scare the buying public away.
Woman make most of the decisions about travel for the family, couples or alone. Woman do the on-line research, offering information to the travel partners joining them on the Guatemala Travel adventure they have planned. Research indicates in the category of Vacation Rental Property in Guatemala and in Antigua Guatemala that most companies with web sites offering travel and Vacation Rental Properties answer inquires from potential customers less then 2% of the time. In fact of the largest real estate operators in all of Guatemala will not respond to an e-mail inquiry.
Now for the part about how Guatemala Travel planning is changing for the Global Consumer interested in Travel to Guatemala. A private group based in Toronto Canada has deployed a series of sophisticated web sites covering Guatemala Travel. The sites are made up of original content, photography and videos covering the beauty of Guatemala explained from a visiting travelers real experiences of Travel in Guatemala. The group understand the internet and have conducted extensive research into the most searched on-line terms humans would use to find information about Travel to Guatemala using search engines like Google. After only 6 months one of the groups on-line Vacation Rental Properties is the top rated property in all of Guatemala on Trip Advisor.
The group LJC operates web sites that cover Travel Central America, Guatemala Travel, Guatemala Travel Packages, Guatemala Vacation Property, Lake Atitlan Travel Guide, Where is Antigua Guatemala, Guatemalan Food, Guatemala Restaurant Guide, Social Media use for Travel, and Guatemalan Fashion. The sites have no ads and only focus on content driven information which attracts readers, followers and the buying consumer for Travel to Guatemala.
How big has LJC grown in controlling or potentially controlling all information presented about Guatemala Travel on-line? In 6 short months the LJC Guatemala Travel Network of sites covers interest from travelers in 6 Continents, 80 Countries and 1,096 Cities with a Social Media audience estimated at 357,000 and growing at a rate of 60,000 new followers ever month. In one Social Media site alone LJC is presented to an audience greater then 20 Million.
LJC has entering the second stage of this deployed Guatemala Travel Network the family of sites are enabled to take and process real time Travel Hotel Reservations, Book Tours, arrange transportation and offer Vacation Rental Properties. LJC also covers all of Guatemala not Antigua Guatemala alone. Strategic partnerships with supplier affiliates enabled LJC to promote and supply services in Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, Monterrico, Rio Dulce and Livingston Guatemala. The affiliates on this Guatemala Travel Network are the suppliers of travel services for all of Guatemala. The suppliers of Travel Services pay only when product is booked and paid for. Affiliates are hand selected.
What about INGUAT?
INGUAT has deployed or attempted new web sites including Visit Guatemala. Currently based in Guatemala City and its jurisdiction extends throughout the country. It is also the highest authority on tourism in the country and representing Guatemala at similar institutions in other countries and to international organizations in the industry. Must also promote inbound tourism and domestic. That said INGUAT has had many issues to overcome. Changing direction and directors ever 6 months has left the Guatemala Travel industry without support for those in the Guatemala Travel Sector.
As I’ve said many times before, there is no better place then to plan you Guatemala Travel Experience for Antigua Guatemala. One big reason why this is true is because you cannot step more than a few feet during this time without seeing a spectacular Alfombra, which are amazing street Carpets made of flowers and colored sawdust as part of the Lent and Holy Week in Guatemala.
Most tourists are relegated to only viewing Guatemala’s beautiful Alfombras, which begin adorning the cobble-stoned streets of Antigua Guatemala during the hight Travel season to Guatemala which starts on Ash Wednesday. Next year, however, make your Travel plans to Guatemala and have the most unique opportunity offered Travelers to Guatemala of actually build a Semana Santa Alfrombra in Antigua Guatemala!
When planning Travel to Guatemala Georges Guatemala Travel Club announcing the creation of the 2013 Travel to Guatemala Semana Santa Alfombra Workshops – a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually build an alfombra and thus “participate” instead of just “spectate”.
The “genesis” for these workshops came from having guests/clients to my Antigua Guatemala home during Semana Santa (for 2 years in a row now) to build Semana Santa Alfombras – an experience that has absolutely delighted everyone lucky enough to participate.
This past year, a lovely Canadian couple traveled to Guatemala in a 24 hours straight so that they could have the chance to build an Alfombra in front of my house in Antigua Guatemala… they are still blogging about the experience!
“What an amazing, and utterly unforgettable time we had with George as part of our Travel adventure to Guatemala” this couple wrote me later, “we LOVED having this opportunity to actually build an alfombra.
You MUST give this opportunity to ALL your guests – they will never forget it!”
Scores of American travelers look forward to visiting Antigua Guatemala this winter – and while sightseeing, they visit those in need – playing “Santa”! George’s Travel Club of Guatemala in partnership with InConTra, Inc will be helping bring Santa Claus to Antigua Guatemala in December of 2012.
This holiday season, Americans from all over the World plan to travel to Antigua, Guatemala on a mission of goodwill. These ‘Santa’s helpers’, organized by InConTra, Inc. and George’s Travel Club of Guatemala are simply international travel enthusiasts, many from organizations such as Pioneers and Kiwanis International, and other wonderful civic associations, as well as from all walks of life.
They actually pay their own way to enjoy fascinating destinations (at startlingly good rates) – while delivering a timely message of global goodwill. While abroad participants add to their rich sightseeing agenda by visiting homes for the aged, orphanages, hospitals along with enjoying local points of interest.
The Santa Goodwill Tour travelers are comprised of members of the Pioneers which is the largest industry related volunteer organization in the world, Kiwanis International which boasts close to 300,000 members throughout the world in 89 countries, plus additional organization members, as well as simply fun-loving, adventurous, kind people. Together with friends and family, they travel bearing small gifts, such as candies, postcards, homemade crafts, and share the festive holiday spirit and even songs with their welcoming audiences.
While the majority of the travelers are from these organizations, the trips are open to anyone who enjoys a quality trip combined with the best feature – the opportunity to spread some goodwill in the destinations they visit. The interpersonal connections that are naturally evoked with these trips create bonds and memories that last a lifetime.
These adventurous travelers share a common thread, the enthusiasm of travel, and enjoy demonstrating the American concept of volunteerism and spreading of goodwill to the rest of the world.
InConTra, Inc. has been organizing these popular Santa Goodwill Tours since 1985. What was going to be a one-time event has turned into a celebrated, annual tradition. The first year, 500 participants visited Tokyo, Japan – many of which returned back home exhilarated, requesting to repeat the experience (in another fascinating destination) the very next year, perpetuating these tours into a once-a-year tradition which so many continue to participate in and enjoy.
Since that first goodwill travel event the Santas have made these very reasonably priced tours part of their annual tradition and have appeared as Santa for the goodwill portion of their tour on a Yangtze River Cruise, and in Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne, Accra, Auckland, Panama, Rio de Janiero, Santiago, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cairo, Istanbul, Athens, Prague, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, London, Edinburgh, Dubai, Capetown, to name a small few of the destinations they have ventured to over the years.
“In this time of global uncertainty, American travelers are genuinely eager to show their best face to other citizens of the world” says North East-based Roxan Chen, manager of InConTra, Inc. “What better way to accomplish this than to embark on a well planned, enriching travel experience as Santa – the ultimate icon of festivity and goodwill!” Ms. Chen has lent an experienced hand in the coordination of these tours since 1991 and often travels with the groups seeing to it that all details are in place.
Guatemala now attract visitors from all over the world. People interested in a restful getaway or an adventurous, enriching vacation, friendly people and fascinating sights, as well as the opportunity to do well needed goodwill sign on.
The Santa Goodwill Tour concept is an excellent portrayal of the best in American culture and has sometimes generated a notable amount of publicity in the various venues. Organizations and travelers have expressed that it is a bonus to occasionally receive good press for doing what comes naturally to them.
“We are eager to see an increase in participation; after all these tours bring out the best in travelers-actually in humanity! The recipients of our visits seem to be deeply touched by our presence–I’d like to share these trips with more folks, after all, the more the merrier!” says William Price, Jr. a frequent participant, recently retired from Boeing enabling him to take a week or two away to explore various cultures.
For additional information or to sign on contact: InConTra, Inc.
1 800 338 7673 or see www.incontra.com
In Guatemala George’s Travel Club of Guatemala
For more info write: George@Georges-TravelClub.com
Just about an hours drive from Antigua Guatemala is San Juan Comalapa. San Juan Comalapa, which has a population of around 35,000, celebrates its market days on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with Tuesday being the most important. The town also has a baroque church, which is as beautiful as any located in La Antigua; and several small art galleries.
Today there are some 500 painters in San Juan Comalapa Guatemala, and the majority of them still use the techniques of Curruchiche. These painters are dedicated to paint the costumes, life experiences and traditions of the indian towns.
A friends of mine, Lee Beal from Kayak Guatemala based in Lake Atitlan stopped by our home in Antigua Guatemala for an over night stay. Lee and his guide Samuel were heading to San Juan Comalapa with guests that had booked Lee for a tour of San Juan Comalapa to see Paintings and Artists from the region. Lee is an amazing guide always looking for that special place that he can take his guests. This trip seamed like one we needed to head out on.
You will not find a lot on-line about this area of Guatemala. However doing some digging around on line I cam across this site. This site has a wonderful collection of photography and art from;
Rebecca Plummer Rohloff Professor of Art + Design- Art Education, PhD
Welcome to my online gallery! I am a professor of Art + Design at Salem State University, MA where I teach art education courses to undergraduate students and those seeking teaching licenses. My studio work is inspired by themes of transformation. I spend most summers in Guatemala and hope to eventually use the visual arts there as a vehicle for maya cultural revitalization and community building.
For more information on projects, or availability and pricing of artwork, please contact me at email@example.com
Be courageous and live deeply.
All the artwork in this post came from hers site and we thank her that use and give her full credit.
San Juan Comalapa, has the largest mural with pictures of the history of Guatemala, also shows a unique style of painting primitivist underway at the master Andres Curruchiche, visit the market and art galleries, the Catholic Church. Iximche onward journey. A stop at restaurants or Pauline Katoc to taste the best food in the Guatemalan highlands. Finally, the site visit Iximche classic post lordship of capital Kakchikel and place where he founded the capital of Guatemala, besides the visit to the town of Tecpan Guatemala.
Finally, someone has made a different kind of documentary about camionetas, those audaciously plumed former US school buses that churn up the roads in Central America and other southerly locales. Here in Antigua Guatemala, for example, there are hundreds that nest and hawk their way daily to and from the town’s dusty and clamorous bus terminal.
Gringos call them chicken buses, but our Guatemalan friends, who use them as serious transportation, call them Camionetas. In that alone lies a significant difference in perspective.
Yolkobsens recently watched the documentary, La Camioneta, with great interest. What’s different about this one is that it avoids all of the usual cliches, trite passages and cheap shots found in most other attempts at chronicling this singular phenomenon. Frankly, I find almost all the run of the mill documentaries on this subject disrespectful and shallow. Many are downright ethnocentric and display a simian ignorance about the importance and roots of this vital form of transportation. For all its faults, excesses and dangers, it’s still a system that has to work for a population that is poor by any standard gringo gauge.
Documentary maker Mark Kendall has chosen to take a more enlightened tone, creating a film that tells the story of the second life of one bus, which, like most of the others on the roads here, had its first incarnation as a yellow school bus. This one cut its teeth in Pennsylvania where it took children to school for ten years, which is the average life span of such a vehicle by US standards.
The doc takes us first to the adoption agency, the Texas auction field where the star bus gets sold for about $3 K USD. Then the story spools out and focuses on the dangers of driving through Mexico, where the cops and bandits can make life dangerous and unprosperous for the camioneta buyer before he even crosses the border to Guatemala.
Once in his home country, the buyer quickly unloads the bus with a dealer who sells it for more than $10 K USD. After this, the film takes a few different turns, focusing primarily on the men who’ve clubbed together to buy it, who have it transformed it into a Camioneta with looks they can be proud of, and finally, the dangers of putting it on the Guatemalan roads.
The group who united their resources, which are slim and stretched, spend still more money and create extended delay by taking it to the alchemist who will turn it from dowdy yellow to a chromed and super color charged road dragon.
Though converting buses with swirls of color and chrome is a convention here, the filmmakers never help us understand why this custom has such weight. And this is where the doc starts to lose its focus. Flashing back and forth on the progress of the bus conversion, we learn that many drivers and owners are at the mercy of the extortionist who demand a payment to refrain from robbing and killing passengers, drivers and fare collectors. We learn of the ruthless and gruesome retribution the extortionists take if their demands aren’t met.
We also learn that since 2006, almost 1,000 drivers and fare collectors have been killed.
The film also tells us that the drivers just keep on going though they and their families worry and fear into the night, as amply highlighted by the documentary makers, who were able to film inside the owner/drivers’ homes.
All in all, this is a documentary worth seeing, if only for the different and original perspective they take on the art of getting and keeping La Camioneta on the road.
San Miguel Duenas, near Antigua Guatemala
About 15 minutes by chicken bus, southwest of Antigua Guatemala, sits San Miguel Duenas, worth a visit, if only for the two zany and mismatched gateways into this highland pueblo.
First gateway is a new and very yellow edifice with an ersatz old time architecture intimation. What the heck is this? Once past it you can gander at the Archangel Michael, who sits golden winged at the gateway’s pinnacle. The town’s namesake seems a bit small in proportion to the rest of the confection on which he poses, almost like a sprig of mint atop a very large lemon meringue pie.
I only mention these details because its unusual for a pueblo, or for that matter anywhere in this part of Guatemala, to put on such airs. This gateway suggests new prosperity for a town whose main commerce derives from hothouses where flowers, mainly, and other garden and decorative plants are grown. Still, the architectural style has nothing to do with the rest of the town, except maybe hinting at the Old World style church in its centre, which leans more to Spanish baroque than this gateway’s quasi rococo or whatever inspiration. Of the church more in a moment.
The second gateway is only about 100 meters from the lemon pie filling portico which first greets the visitor. Slightly older, but born of a jig saw puzzle imagination, this building is part park bench island and part amusement park escapee. It’s hard to believe this is sitting somewhere in Guatemala.
How to describe this structure? Okay, it looks like a very large Dutch girl cap propped up by four columns, shaped like pink sleeved gorilla arms with tidy manicured hands supporting the bonnet. At the top pirouettes a multi-hued Archangel Michael. The centre core is a snarl of concrete root-like texture and plants and fountain water dotting it at intervals. This could only have been designed by a committee.
Once you get over the gateways and move into the centre of town, you will understand why its main church is so beloved by photographers. It sits at an angle so that its prim whiteness and delicate proportions are shown to best advantage against the mighty volcano, Agua. It’s a charming silhouette and it alone is worth the visit to this pueblo.
This pueblo is also known for being the home of a snug artists colony, which accounts for some of the objects de art that inhabit part of the main square. For anyone who has traveled and experienced Guatemalan pueblos, you would come to expect the main square to be across from the central church, with a large cross facing the front of the church and then an assortment of benches. The elaborateness of this formula varies from place to place, but that’s the basic model.
The San Miguel Duenas Guatemala park version is different in that it has taken an odd curatorial turn. Here you find artists’ renderings on a variety of themes through statues, all in the same brutalism concrete. It’s just that the brutalist style evokes a nihilist tone that is at odds with the with the church just opposite. Themes are mysterious as well. For example, is the concrete lady wearing an Olympic size sun hat or is this a halo that is too heavy for her to bear? Sometimes greatness is thrust upon us, it’s true.
All in all, a visit to San Miguel Duenas Guatemala is a treat because it follows all the classic patterns of a Guatemalan pueblo, but with a few odd twists at its gateways and in its centre core.