Well, all great things come to an end. But in parting, for now, let me share some random bits of information and Guatemala trivia that stick with me:
Favorite sayings of Daniel, our guide:
“If a Guatemalan tells you ‘it is clean’, wash it again.” (referring to fruits & veggies.)
“Don’t hire a Guatemalan driver who drinks.” (sometimes the most obvious advice is the best.)
Jacote is a local fruit only in season from mid-February through April. It is a cross between a small plumb and a mango. You nip off the top of the skin with your teeth and suck out the juice and meat that clings to the very large seed. It is simply delicious.
Coyol comes from the Century Plant. The seeds look like avocado seeds, but are prepared by cracking the hard shell and boiling the seeds for hours in a simple syrup. Then you suck on the seed and draw out the flesh which is sweet and bready.
There are 24 official Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala. Most people speak both Spanish and their Mayan tribal language. One of the more pervasive languages, Cachiquel, is spoken around Lake Atitlan. In Cachiquel the word for pig, black & chicken is all the same – AK – but the meaning depends on from where in the throat the sound emanates.
The marimba was created in Guatemala. It is much like a xylophone, but is made out of wood. Here are school children from Santa Carolina performing on the marimba.
Here is why they are called Birds of Paradise.
Hummingbirds are everywhere. Unfortunately, they were too fast to get a good picture … just trust me on this one. Also, spider monkeys are eerily human.
So with this blog, we bid a fond farewell to Guatemala … but it isn’t good-bye. We will be back again to share this wonderful country with you, our Epicurean Travelers.