Colorful people

October 1, 2009 at 10:03 pm 3 comments

Mayan woman selling woven clothLast weekend Trudy (a fellow student) and I went to the cities of Panajachel and Chichicastenango. Panajachel is a town on Lake Atitlan. Lake Atitlan is arguably the most beautiful lake in the world. We got there about 11:00 AM after a very crowded two-hour van ride. While in Panajachel, we went to the market and caught a glimpse of a very rainy Lake Atitlan. We had planned on taking a boat ride and visiting other towns on the lake, but we had to change plans. We had a nice time walking through the streets. We also ate lunch and dinner there. As decadent as it may seem, dinner consisted of two delicious dessert crepes with ice cream on the side. While there, Trudy took this picture of a Mayan woman selling beautiful woven cloth. The people are beautiful, and their art boggles the mind. It never ceases to amaze me how women and girls can carry loads on their heads. Last week I saw two women running through Antigua with huge loads on their heads. I was dumbfounded.

On Sunday we took another crowded van ride to Chichicastenango. “Chichi” is famous for its large market with an incredible variety of clothing, woven cloths, jewelery of many kinds including jadite jade (only found here and of superior quality to the jade found in Asia). The jade is so hard that it can be scraped along the pavement and not show a scratch.Mayan woman making tortillas
Trudy took the picture above of a very common sight: a (Mayan) woman making tortillas. I love the color in this picture–the pink walls, the blue “skillet”, and the blouse and skirt of the woman. I loved this look so much that I bought a used Mayan blouse and skirt for myself. (If I were to buy the blouse new, it would cost about $200-250. I got mine for about $25.)

Mayan girl wrapping a pen with my mom's name on it
While trying to eat in a restaurant, we were approached by at least seven women and girls who were selling their wares. It was pretty difficult saying “no” so many times and Trudy and I broke down at times. (They wouldn’t go away until we bought something or started totally ignoring them. That’s hard to do because we wanted to be kind, but couldn’t bear the constant pressure.) Above is a picture of one such girl who talked me into buying a custom-woven pen for my mom. The girl wove “Marietta” into the pen cover within five minutes! I was very impressed with her skill, and wish I’d bought one for several of my friends. Unfortunately, I have not seen pen covers made like this in Antigua. Maybe I’ll show the pen I have to some of the town merchants and find out if I can have some more made. Until then, I’ll continue to take in the sights and the people.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Panajachel Lake Atitlan  |  October 2, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Its a shame you had bad weather for your visit to Lake Atitlan. Panajachel is oneof the most colorful places on earth. the Maya folks are wonderful. I hope you get a chance to visit again, and add my site to your blogroll. Best of luck, and happy trails!

    • 2. Diana Snodgrass  |  October 2, 2009 at 9:50 pm


      Thank you for your comment. I failed to mention that on the way to Chichi, our van stopped for a “Kodak moment” (a short time to take pictures) of the Lake from one of the surrounding mountains. Perhaps I’ll share the photo in another entry. As requested, I have added your web site to my Blogroll.


  • 3. Miss Saugar  |  October 20, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Hi, Diana!
    I haven’t looked at the site for a while. You’re having an interesting time there. Glad you’re feeling better and getting to spend time with people.
    Bye! Patty


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