Thom & Meg´s Honeymoon Adventures travel blog

Our host family in San Juan

One of the ninos!

Arriving in San Juan, where some of the town remains underwater after...

Coffee fruit getting ready for November harvest

Tour of San Juan´s local organic coffee cooperative

Hike up the mountain to see dawn over Lake Atitlan and San...

Us and Lake Atitlan

Panorama of the top of the vantage point over San Juan after...

Weaving demonstration at San Juan´s women´s textile cooperative

Our tour leader, Paul, with one of the ninos

We left Panajachel by boat across Lake Atitlan top do a tour of some of the villages on the shore before we got to San Juan (where we're doing our home-stay this evening). Lake Atitlan has 12 major villages where six different Mayan languages are spoken.

In San Pedro, the first village on our tour, we visited a number of shops and saw an old catholic church; but the most interesting thing we saw on the island was a bit of Mayan syncretic religion known as Maximun (pronounced "mashi-moon"). Maximun is a carved wood statue who lives in the house of three shamans. The shrine to Maximun is full of blinking Christmas lights that play several Christmas carols at the same time, candles, a carved wooded casket containing a statue of Santa Crucez, many candles and an offering table covered in booze and cigars. Suffice to say, visiting Maximun was both anthropologically fascinating and pretty bizarre!

In San Juan we went on a tour of the organic coffee co-op that employs much of the village and sampled some of their wares, went to a local art gallery and a womens textile co-operative. The two of us stayed with a local family (the household was made up of two grandparents, two sets of parents and seven kids. The grandparents only spoke Mayan languages and the parents and most of the kids spoke a bit of spanish as well. Needless to say, there was lots of writing and miming in out conversation, but despite the language barrier, we had a fantastic time!

We'll post photos ASAP because they really are worth a thousand words! More updates & photos to come, and as usual, lots of love! M & T

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