Lake Atitlán – San Pedro la Laguna

Feb 12 – We continued our exploration of Lake Atitlán today by bidding adios to Santa Cruz.

The view from our room at La Casa Rosa

After breakfast, we packed up our things and walked to the dock, to board a lancha for San Pedro. Unlike the lanchas heading toward Panajachel, which come along every five minutes, we had to wait for one heading the other way. Once it came, we sat inside while the pilot waited and called for additional passengers. The native woman sitting next to me was impatient to get going, drumming her fingers and knocking on the side of the boat. She must really want to get there!

After stopping at all the other waterfront haciendas, and San Marcos, which is known as the place where the hippies hang out (are there really hippies anymore?), we reached San Pedro la Laguna.

From this side of the lake, the view is not as spectacular, as the volcanos are hidden from view by other mountains. This looks like a more established town, with cinderblock buildings rising several stories. We are staying at El Delfin, a regular hotel. Here is the view from our hotel balcony – a little grittier, and the WiFi isn’t so good, but the shower has plenty of hot water.

A short walk from our hotel is the Museo Tzunun Ya. Tzunun Ya is the Mayan name for this town. When the Spaniards came along, they built churches and renamed all the towns after saints, but the people still practice their Mayan rituals here.At the museum, we received a guided tour from a lovely native woman who spoke slowly so that my poor Spanish could keep up. She told us about the four points of the earth, with Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun watching over us.

Our guide explained the Mayan calendar, and gave us our own number and symbol based on the date of our birth. My number is 4, Tz’ikin, the quetzal bird, and Jim’s is 1, Keme, the lord of death. Kind of like a horoscope, I think, and also helps you decide on an auspicious day to start a new project.

A woman selling trinkets on the street, Maribel, has befriended us, calling out our names whenever she spies us walking down the street. She has a seven year old daughter who sits with her. I think there may be trinkets in our future.

Feb 14 – Happy Valentines Day, a holiday that is totally not a thing here. The next festival here will be the Mayan new year. Our hotel gave us a swan heart today.

We walked up the hill to see the Iglesia San Pedro (church of St. Peter).

Inside, we admired the green hangings fluttering in the breeze.

Pope Francis says hello!
I liked this statue of St. Anne.l

Outside, we looked at the statue of San Pedro, with his keys to the pearly gates and his chicken. Did you know Saint Peter had a chicken?

Down the street was the much more elaborate First Baptist Church.

Lots of missionary evangelical influence here.

I wonder how the power company keeps all these lines straight?

There are no hills to hike here, but the town is pretty vertical, so we are still getting our daily workout.

Kernels of maize (corn) drying on the street

Another lovely day.

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