Posts Tagged ‘Panajachel’

Love That Homemade Yogurt!

February 28, 2012

One of the foods that I love eating each day in Guatemala is the homemade yogurt that so many restaurants make themselves.  It is a plain, rather tart yogurt and reminds me of the yogurt I ate in restaurants in Europe, especially Switzerland.

I make yogurt at home myself but am having a hard time getting it to taste just like what is sold in restaurants in Panajachel. Maybe the taste difference is in the type of milk that I use in comparison to that used in Guatemala, but I am not for sure.

This link shows the method of making yogurt  that I use

Guatemala has lots of  fresh fruit — melons, papaya, mango, pineapple, bananas and so many others — that are so delicious because they are picked when ripe not shipped for thousands of miles after picking them green.  The yogurt tastes so good when topping a bowlful of fresh sliced fruit with a little honey drizzled on top.

In my next trip I am going to talk with the restaurants about how they make their yogurt to see if I can replicate the taste and texture here at home.

Here is another great blog with yogurt directions.

Love that homemade yogurt!


Your Help Is Needed!

May 31, 2010

Your help is urgently needed!

Tropical Storm Agatha has devastated parts of Guatemala, especially in the areas where Education and More works. Many, many people have lost their homes and now Education And More is in the process of helping to rebuild homes and lives.

Please, if you can donate any amount it will help us to help those devastated by the storm.

Below is a button that will allow you to donate with your credit card or simply send a check to our offices.

Education And More
Tropical Storm Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 201,
Burlingame, KS 66413

Whether it’s $10 or $100 –all will be helpful.

Thank you!

One of the many houses swept away by the river.

A mudslide covers the road out of Panajachel

Beauty of Guatemala

February 8, 2009

In the next few days we will be posting some of the beauty we see in Guatemala on each visit.  We hope you enjoy our photos!

Lake Atitlan

is  really beautiful and is surrounded by many small villages and also the larger touristy town of Panajachel.

Traditional fishing on Lake Atitlan

Young girls are usually in the traditional dress of a corte and huipil — a skirt and blouse.  Each village has their own unique design and colors in the fabric.

Much of the work done in the ruralareas of Guatemala are done by hand — including hauling the coffee beans to the cooperative to be weighed and processed!

Colorful rebozos (shawls) are folded and placed on the head until it gets cooler — an easy way to carry your garment!  In the mountains around Lake Atitlan it generally clouds up and get cooler by about 4pm so this woman will have her shawl ready.

The Cross of Christ overlooking San Juan La Laguna.

More photos to come!

San Antonio Palopó

February 3, 2009

We took this morning and visited 2 villages close to Panajachel– Santa Catarina and San Antonio Palopó.  Both are very poor villages but they do try to attract a tourism market with lots of little artisan shops in the streets. Many families use the front room as a little shop and live in the back rooms.

The best way to get to these villages is to ride in the back of a pickup with the locals at the price of 5 quetzales which is about 65 cents.  San Antonio Palopó is perched on the side of a volcanic mountain and just seems to be hanging on to keep from sliding into Lake Atitlan.  To tour the town it is necessary to climb steps or descend steps!  It is so steep there are few level roads in the town.

People grow a lot of vegetables in terraced little plots of ground and you can look up the mountain and see terraces all over.  Onions and carrots are two of the major crops grown in SAP.

Many of the women carry their laundry down the steep slopes to the waters of Lake Atitlan to do the family washing. It is much more difficult to bring the heavy wet clothes back up the mountain.  Another nonprofit is planning to eventually build a community pila (sink) in the town so the women don’t have to wash clothes in the lake.

A lot of artisans from Santa Catarina and San Antonio Palopó take their handcrafts into Panajachel and walk the streets selling because they don’t have many tourists visit their villages.  In one of the artisan shops in San Antonio Palopó was a little girl of about 10-12 years and she was making a cloth belt. I stopped to talk to her and of course she wanted to sell me a belt but I wanted to find out if she was in school.  She said her name was Maria and yes she was going to school but when I asked her what grade she was in she would not tell me and would only ask what I wanted  to buy.   I can only figure that her Mom keeps her home from school to help with the work.  It is so hard to see these young girls working and not being educated—so many selling trinkets in the street or in shops!

We have explained to our artisan groups that we do not want children exploited–  we want to help educate them and therefore we ask that no children work on the handcrafts that we buy from them.

So as I see this happening in the streets of Panajachel and in the villages it reinforces my desire to get more girls and boys into the schools, especially for longer than the typical 2-3 years!

Panajachel — It’s Artisans & Tourists

January 20, 2009

Panajachel is a vibrant community on the shoes of Lake Atitlan with thousands of tourists from around the world visiting every year. It seems there are as many retirement age tourists as the young college age– all wanting to see and experience this Guatemalan city.  It became a popular haven for the hippies in the 1960’s and remnants of that culture is still here in addition to a sizeable populations of expats. 

Because of this year round influx of tourists the handcrafts souvenir business is thriving. Small shops and booths line the main street and beach area along with hundreds of adults and children walking the streets trying to cajole tourists into buying something from them.  Many of them from the smaller villages come into Pana to try to earn money. The sad part is that a lot of the children are kept out of shcool and sent into Pana with a basket of trinkets or weavings to sell to earn money for the family.  I’ve seen children that looked as young as 7 or 8 fending for themselves on the streets and trying to sell handcrafts.  I recently saw a boy of about 12 with a baby strapped to his back–obviously babysitting a sibling and selling at the same time. 

Handcrafts are cheap in Pana because the artisan is paid so little but few tourists realize this fact.  Artisans that make textiles or handcrafts try to sell them in their little villages but when they can’t they bring them to Pana and sell to a big store or to a wholesaler.  Usually the artisan makes very little over their costs when they sell this way.  Many tourists believe the old saying that ‘they expect you to haggle on the price’ —but I don’t believe it.  If I was living in poverty I would not want someone to try to pay me less because I know the money I make today will make a difference in whether my family eats today.

This is where Fair Trade organizations, like Education and More steps in to help the artisan earn a fair wage for their work. We work with the groups in their villages –paying fair wages, giving advance credit, helping with keeping their children in school,  helping them retain their culture, dignity and have pride in the work they do.