Guatemala is a charming country with a difficult past. The beautiful colonial city of Antigua is littered with ruins of churches and monasteries that were demolished in various earthquakes over the centuries.

The country’s active volcanoes pose another threat. One morning I woke up in Quetzaltenango to find the streets covered in ash, but people there seem to take it in stride — nothing unusual, nothing to worry about!

Cobblestone street in Antigua, with view of volcano
Cobblestone street in Antigua, with a view of the volcano

Then there’s the horrific civil war (1960-1996) which devastated the country, especially the Mayan population. These people were targeted by government forces, with over a hundred thousand killed or “disappeared”. A generation of Guatemalans grew up knowing nothing but war. 🙁

Now, 20+ years after the war ended, the country is working to return to normal life. There are still problems with poverty, crime, and corruption, but the people I talked to there seem to be more positive about the future now. They deserve peace and happiness, and I hope that they find it.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Guatemala, and look forward to going back.

And Zennie thinks the chicken buses are SO cool! 🙂

Chicken bus in San Pedro, Guatemala
A colorful chicken bus in Guatemala. No boring transport here!

Some Guatemala pix