Atitlan, an alive place of Mayan culture
Guatemala is one of this Central American countries surrounded by Mayan culture. Even though Mexico and Chichen Itza ruins would come first to people’s mind while taking about Mayan civilization, it is good to remind that Mayas mainly developed in a territory located today in Guatemala. Tikal and Peten ruins are the alive proof of this part of the history.
If we are talking to you about Mayan culture, it is because of the lake. Here around, Tzutujil and Cakchiquels communities live and they are deep descendents of this incredible and mysterious civilization.
We spent 10 days around the lake in an appropriate atmosphere for our work, researches and reflexions.
Tourism on Atitlan, nothing more obvious
Atitlan Lake is an exceptionnel geological site. Surrounded by 3 volcanoes: San Pedro, Atitlan and Toliman, there are few villages and communities living around.
Tourism started in Atitlan in the 80s with Hippi movement around Central America. Today, tourism is pretty well developed but has specificities. Tourism characteristics change according to the village. For example, San Pedro is famous for party. San Marcos is the place for yoga, spoirituality and healing therapies. Panajachel is the place where you will find most of travel groups and big hotels. Santiago is more for local, handicrafts and the Friday market.
Yeah, there is a place for all the tastes. In addition to that, impossible to not remember the crazy quantity of houses/villas around the lake definitely showing the growing market for second home. Yeah, rich north Americas are (unfortunately?) investing a lot here.
Atitlan lake : a 180° view from San Pablo de la Laguna
Adept from new experiences and « why not ? » philosophy, we decide to stay in San Pablo… You can google it, you will not find too much about it. Indeed, this is officially the less touristic village of the lake.
We found a small bungalow rented by Estuardito (or Stuart in English). He is English-Canadian and lives in San Pablo since 20 years. He is married with a local woman and has now 4 kids revealing a nice cultural mix. Our bungalow is simply charming with its 180° view on the lake from our bedroom. We keep an eye on San Pedro volcano (or maybe he keeps an eye on us… who knows?) and even can glimpse Fuego volcano with its intense activity… We are surrounded by coffee plantations from which we drink coffe every morning. Yes, Stuart produces his own coffee. Impossible to beat such a short supply-chain!
Spending 10 days with Stuart and his family, we have a great cultural immersion in Tzutujil community. Village keeps traditions and most of the population (ladies first of course) dress traditionally. Like in India, we have a colourful and flowery show!! We love it! As well as ladies sitting down in front of their house, they spend afternoon talking while weaving small materials for home. To conclude our picture, late afternoon, all villagers meet around basket ball court, it is the tradition. Everyone has a team. Watching women dressed traditionnaly and playing basket ball, this is a culture choc which is priceless.
But why are we talking about Freelance?
But more than that, San Pablo is for us a great opportunity to work on our various projects. Thanks to a stable internet connexion (do not forget that our new reference point is India!), we can work on Hopineo project but also on our Guesthouse – the opening is coming!!! And we can finally commit our feelance tasks to get a bit of money.
And yes, Freelance is a lifestyle (trendy for sure) which has a lof of advantages. It is possible to work from anywhere and almost with who you want. The best? Being in the most beautiful place all over the world. For sure, work is sometimes random and there are some risks. But right now we would exchange it for nothing and we are even thinking about writing a book “the best place to make your daily Freelance life beautiful”. So, do you want to join the club?
We are Ela & David, 2 citizens of the world. In quest of a new way of living, more respectful from the environment and the Humans, we travel slowly to discover new cultures, to look for inspirations and with a wish of sharing. Wants to know more?