san juan la laguna

On Saturday, Jon and I decided to go to San Juan across the lake. We had been there a few times before, the last time being with my family when they visited in December. San Juan is interesting because, like Santiago, they speak Tz’utujil, a completely different indigenous language from our side of the lake (Kaqchikel). It’s interesting to see the differences between the two cultures.

San Juan also has many artisanal co-ops, a coffee plantation, and a central Catholic church. It’s really fun to walk around and look at all of the different stores and products, especially since most of the goods are made by hand. Most of the stores that sell fabrics also do demonstrations of how they dye the cotton used to make the fabrics. They typically boil plants/wood/certain flowers and then dip the cotton to achieve the color they want. Everything is made naturally which I think is very impressive!

I really like the ambiance of San Juan, and it’s fun to just walk around and chat with the store owners. Around the town, they also have murals painted everywhere. They’re so colorful and vibrant, and many depict Maya traditions and stories. I highly recommend stopping at San Juan if you visit Lake Atitlán. And, if you like tv shows about food, there’s an Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Foods episode shot here in Guatemala. I watched the whole thing and was really interested in the segment about San Juan. He shows how they catch and prepare seafood. It’s worth a watch! Also, what is it about seeing other people eat on tv that’s so fun to watch? Anthony Bourdain, anyone?

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The flowers by our house look so nice!

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Jon is in serious need of a beard trim (more like beard cut), but he’s still handsome. We keep joking that his beard is at hobo levels right now. He promised he would get it cut this week so I’m holding him to that.

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Volcán San Pedro, the one we hiked a few months ago.

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Artisinal stores on either side of the street all the way up this hill.

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I’m guessing that this mural is of St. John.

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The Catholic church at the top of the hill. I love the stone on the front.

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My nahual. Your nahual is calculated based on your specific birthday, month, and year, according to the Maya calendar. Each nahual comes with certain attributes and characteristics. It has a name and symbol, which is super cool!

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A display showing the different things they use in nature to dye fabric and the color they produce.

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It says, San Juan La Laguna, the place where the Tz’utujiles live.

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With volcán San Pedro in the background.

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