Panajachel (Pana) is located only 90 miles from Guatemala City. On the banks of Lake Atitlan, it is the home of 15,000 residents and a tourist hub for the area.
“Panajachel” derives from the Kaqchikel language and roughly translates to “place of the Matasanos,” the white sapote fruit tree.” ~ Wikipedia
Walking down the main street, Santander, the way is solidly lined with vendors, small shops, tables loaded with hand-made goods and several restaurants scattered in. This was a hippie settlement in the 1960’s and although most of the gringos left the area during the Guatemalan Civil War, there is still that “free spirit” vibe alive and well here.
The Mayan culture is strong with many indigenous still keeping their culture alive, wearing traditional clothing, living in small villages, and speaking their own dialect. Many women can be seen wearing a colorful hand-woven blouse (huipil) and skirt. Each village has their own unique design pattern and color for their huipil. They walk up and down the streets selling hand-made scarves, beaded goods, or wall hangings.
Lining the streets are tables offering up necklaces, bracelets, purses, brightly colored clothing, wallets, and so much more. Prices are very reasonable and negotiating is part sport and part art.
Street food is abundant with choices of grilled corn, fried chicken, and roasted nuts. I can not vouch whether or not it is safe for the Western digestive system…
Here are a few typical scenes:
Gratitude Moment: Today I am so excited – I just got the great news that my nephew, Ian, has proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Nadia. She said YES! Congratulations to both of them!!!