Gallery: the serenity of dawn on Lake Atitlàn
Early morning by Lake Atitlàn. A lone fisherman drifts past, checking his lines. Volcanoes dot the horizon. In the distance a small motorboat speeds past; empty now but likely to be full of passengers when the lake’s ferry services start up soon. The jetties too are quiet, waiting for the lakeside villages to wake up.
A city shaped by earthquakes
Antigua, or Antigua Guatemala to give it its full name, is a city shaped by the movement of the earth on which it stands. It was founded in 1543 and despite the ravages of several earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, it was for over 200 years the capital and economic centre of the whole Kingdom of Guatemala. This was a significant country, covering what today we know as southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Traditional textiles in San Antonio Palopo
There is something a little bit different about San Antonio Palopo, one of the smaller villages on Lake Atitlàn. Most of the villages in this part of Guatemala are Tz'utujil, where bright reds and embroidered flowers are the preferred shades for huipiles, the traditional embroidered blouses. But the people of this village are Cakchiquel Maya; and almost without exception every woman and girl wears the same lovely shades of blue in narrow vertical stripes.
Around the world in ten photos: day five
Early morning, and the sun has just climbed above the volcanoes that encircle the lake. A fisherman in a rowing boat drifts slowly, checking the net that he hopes will have captured some fish overnight.
Meeting Maximón, the idol of Santiago Atitlàn
The small boys who meet the boats arriving in Santiago on the shores of Lake Atitlàn know that the visiting tourists are here to see one thing above all others. They want to meet Maximón. It’s a good idea to accept the children’s offer as this intriguing Mayan idol (part saint, part devil) doesn’t have a permanent home in the town. Instead he is hosted by a local family, moving to a new house every few years.