From Guatemala City we headed to Panajachel on Lake Atitilan. Heading north on the Pan-American Highway we entered Mayan land, an area where Mayan’s are the predominate people. As part of the tour, to become emmersed in the Mayans, we stopped at a brickyard run and manned by Mayans, so we could become aware of what a hardworking people they are. All work was being done by hand. The crew arrives soon after sunrise 6:30 to 7:00 and work till sunset 6:00. First they mix the clay with their feet, and then set about molding the bricks, tiles, and roof tiles in wooden forms. They work very fast & have a rhythm. They flour the base with dry clay, clean and grease the mold with water, cut a ball of wet clay from the mother ball, fill the mold, work the clay into the corners, smooth the top with their hands, move brick and mold to ground for drying, remove mold and start over again. David has been working hard to try to get us to understand where and why the Mayans are where they are today and what they hope for themselves tomorrow. They were not recognized as a people by Guatemala until 2002. They have been displaced and dispersed and persecuted for the last 450 years. The Maya are a strong people that are trying to maintain their culture. Americans have not always been on their side. We stopped at a nice roadside café for lunch, then on to Solola’ and a Mayan street market. We visited the cemetery which was a made up of many family crypts’ of various shapes, sizes and color. David’s talk on Mayan’s concept of life and death was very enlightening. On down the long,steep road was Panajachel, beautiful Lake Atitlan and Hotel del Lago. The lake is volcanic in origin, which caused an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it: "Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing."