Maya traditions around Lake Atitlan

What happens in Guatemala on December 7th?

La quema del Diablo or The burning of the Devil, is a traditions that is held in Guatemala every Dec 7th, one day before the celebration of Conception virgin. Accoring to catholic church, on this days Saint Michael the Archangel should tied up the dragon. So in that way Virgin Mary will convived Jesus.

In this area every family make bonfire in their patio or in the street to burn the image of the devil, although many people they use this days to get rid of old stuff that they do not needed and burned.

Most of this traditions you can experience during your visit in any part of Guatemala.

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Maya traditions around Lake Atitlan

MAYA TRADITIONS AROUND LAKE ATITLAN

On your visit to Guatemala, you might cosidered to stay in Lake Atitlan a few nights or perhaps a few weeks. Guatemala is a multy diverse country and Lake Atitlan is one of the places that deserves to spend extra time.

Holly week at Lake Atitlan

The contemporary maya people celebrate in each town around Lake Atitlan. Each town has a different way to celebrate every single day of eastern. The most important days: Holy Wednesday, holy Thursday and holy friday.

This ttradition begun in Antigua Guatemala by Santo Hermano Pedro de San Jose de Betancur in the 1600′ now the congregation has been incorporating new thing such as the use of sawdust carpets and others. The towns where you should go in Good friday will be Santiago Atitlan (in the morning) San Juan La Laguna  (afternoon and night time).

Get to know more about this tradition with your local expert…

All Saint day and Day of the Death

Guatemala is colorful country and the highlands is not the exeption, four weeks prior November 1st and 2nd, Local mayan people go to the cemetery to paint they mausoleum where they beloved are buried. They chose different colours, they say “Is a day of happines or joy, a day to live together with our ancesters” That is the reason why they chose vibrant colors.

All Saint day and the day of the Death are exiting dates to be in Guatemala. experience by Feeling, touchig, tasting, watching and smelling. 

 

(the main day)

 

Belted Flycatcher first record in our birding trail

FANTASTIC NEWS FOR OUR BIRDWATCHERS

“Belted Flycatcher”

As every morning after a couple cup of coffee; I pick my binoculars and camera and start monitoring one of our birding trails in our area. Our goal is to see majority of migrants birds coming from north America. Some of them staying here in Guatemala and other heading to South America. 

Belted Flycatcher
Target bird for Guatemala, and first record in our trail.

Today it was different. Once the birding monitoring started; i closed my eyes and started to hear all the birds around me.

From the distance i heard the Black-vented Oriole, Greter Pewee, Blue-and-white mockingbird, Wester Kingbird (No, way the sound is coming from the bushes, and is not a complete call. Its just the started of the sound) Then i opened my eyes and went straight to the area were i heard it.  I heard the call of the birds around with the “pix pix pix” then i heard again and i said, BELTED FLYCATCHER? 

Jumping into the grass and slowly i saw a flycatcher that flew in front of me, o dear, BELTED FLYCATCHER. I toke my camera and got some shots. It made our day.

Our Tzansiwan Trail

We have been monitoring this place since 2010, and finally BELTED FLYCATCHER is our new target bird.  This is a restricted bird from the semiarid forest and is endangered for the losing of habitat and of course a target bird for you if you are coming to Guatemala. In deed you can see this bird in Santa Cruz la Laguna.

Have a look to our check list here: Birding Trail Tzansiwan

Finally, If you are interested on a birding trip to Guatemala. We trailor-made birding trips all over the country, contact us for more information.

 

Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo
we saw one of the colorful birds you can see during our birdwatching tours in Lake AtitlanCHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO

 

A morning visit to Santiago Atitlan

A morning visit to Santiago Atitlan “the house of the birds”

In the center of three immense volcanoes is located one of the ancient Mayan villages, the two ways to get to there are: by car it might take a few hours and by boat is the fastest way.

“We began our day with a boat ride to Santiago Atitlan, it took as around half an hour to get there, the air was fresh, blue sky and the lake was tranquil in the morning”

Santiago Atitlan is the largest town around Lake Atitlan Caldera. There are interesting things to do when you visit is have or live a first-hand meeting with locals, explore the colorful local market (not the tourist market), and of course one of the oldest churches in the country.

The hightlight would be the visit of Maximon or Rilaj mam (in the local mayan language Tzutujil) It’s a prehispanic statue that local mayan people worship. If you are lucky ceremonies can be seen during the visit to this place.

The Main Square of Santiago Atitlan

Your experience gets way better and UNFORGETTABLE when you travel with a local guide. See the area like somebody local and enjoy at the best.