Guatemala, Honduras, Belize · 75 Days · 31 Moments · May 2017

Molly's Adventure in Guatemala

16 July 2017

I spent the last week studying Spanish off the grid at a school in the mountains. Went on some hikes to see volcanoes as well as to a sacred lake in a volcano. Ate my meals with very low income family near the school which was humbling to see how they live. Tortillas three times a day!

2 July 2017

Enjoying the black volcanic sands and HUGE waves in Monterrico!

1 July 2017

Back in Guatemala City after a week in Belize. When I was here in May it was the beginning of the international graffiti festival. Today I got to see the final products!

26 June 2017

I've been in Belize for a couple days now. Today I went to another Maya ruin named Xunantunich. (I learned Mayan isn't a word). You can see Guatemala from the top of the highest monument!

23 June 2017

My final night with my host family in San Josè. They have been so kind and welcoming, I feel like a part of their family here. I have gotten to know the extended family as well and I'm sad to be leaving but a week in Belize is ahead of me. I have not missed out on the Gautemalan experience...I have easily had close to 100 tortillas in the last 2 weeks and thousands of beans. The Grandma let me in the church today to see the 3 skulls they have. These skulls are part of their festivities on Nov. 1st and on a rotating basis they are paraded through the town and into houses.

17 June 2017

I have been living with a family in San Jose, Peten for the last week. I really lucked out with the family. They are so kind and caring. San Jose is a typical Guatemalan town, there is a lot of unemployment and as a result some people can't afford water or much more than beans and tortillas. You see people going to the lake to gather water for drinking and to bathe. I'm taking more Spanish classes here as well and I am getting to know quite a few people in the community because everyone seems to be related. Today is Father's Day in Guatemala and the family has included me in all of their festivities. I learned how to make tortillas, soup for an army and tomales!

10 June 2017

Explored the Mayan Ruins of Tikal today. Absolutely stunning and mesmorizing! The Mayan ingenuity and resourcefulness was amazing. There would not have been trees there when the Mayans lived there, I have no idea how they dealt with the heat, I almost melted.

8 June 2017

Feeling back to normal after having food poisoning (from cacao). The 9 hour bus to Flores Guatemala arrived in time for me to enjoy the sunset and some tostadas. This little island is about 1km across. Quite a cute place.

6 June 2017

Learned about cocoa and made my own chocolate today using cocoa grown in the area around my hostel!

5 June 2017

Yesterday I had a very adventurous day. I went on a tour through the Kan Ba caves by candlelight having to climb up some precarious ladders, squeeze through some openings and jump into a pool of water not more that 5 feet deep. Definitely not North America safety standards. I also went off a cool rope swing into the river and jumped 10m off a bridge into the same river. Then we went to Semuc Champey where the beautiful limestone pools of water are. I was drenched (in sweat) after walking up to the lookout point in the 35 degree heat. We had time to hangout in the water pools before we went back to the river and tubed back to the hostel.

3 June 2017

Spent the last week in Utila. Here are some underwater photos (I don't have a red filter so the colours are more vibrant in person). Utila is known for ita amazing soft corals!
Spend a couple nights in Rio Dulce. Stayed at a hostel in the middle of a swamp. Took the local bus out to a place where there is a hot waterfall that mixes with the cool river.

31 May 2017

Spent the morning diving and the afternoon eating on the beach. You can clearly see I was wearing a shortie wetsuit!

27 May 2017

I've been in Utila, one of the Bay Islands in Honduras diving. It's one of the cheapest places to dive in the world so I did my advanced open water. Saw a spotted eagle ray the other day! Spent my birthday here and had a birthday watermelon!

24 May 2017

The Tea and Chocolate Place: A family run "museum" open from 4-6 everyday. Everything they serve they grow themselves. Everything is organic and they don't harvest from species they have less than 100 of. They are trying to show Hondurans that sustainable and ecologically sustainable practises are possible. Amazing garden and space to hangout. They have so many samples for you to try and they insist that you don't need to buy anything but I couldn't resist a cold chile cocoa drink.
Visited the Copan Ruins. Was a super cool feeling standing in the ball court, the same place that Mayans played the game 1300 years ago.

23 May 2017

Made It!

22 May 2017

Made it to base camp. 3500m. Fuego erupting in the background. At night we could see the lava and hot rocks coming out!
The start of my volcano hike up Acatenango. The third highest in Guatemala!

20 May 2017

Picaya volcano! Super lucky we got to see it. When we reached the top it was originally all fog/cloud. We roasted marshmallows on it. It's one of 3 active volcanoes in Guatemala.

15 May 2017

Did a 3 day hike from Xela to Lake Atitlan with a group called Quetzaltrekkers. It's a volunteer run organization and the proceeds run a school for street kids. Hiking though the mountains was exhausting but amazing! The first night we stayed at a lady's house and had temesculs (traditional mayan saunas). We hiked about 45 km and up to 3050m altitude on our hike to the lake. We woke up at 3:30am on the last day so we could hike to a mirador (viewpoint) and watch the sun rise over the lake.

10 May 2017

Another day another market. Almolongo is an extremely important vegetable growing area. They export the vegetables to many places in Central America. There is a mix of Spanish and Mayans here so you hear Spanish and K'iche as you walk through the area. They also have a place where you can take a bath in sulfurous hot spring water. It's so high up that it's not unusual to be in a cloud.

9 May 2017

First market I've been to with live animals. Maybe not the most humane treatment of animals but I guess the animals are just as resilient as the Guatemalans. Live pigs tied up with strings strapped over the shoulder like a purse, puppies squished into little boxes, turkeys being held by the feet, trying to keep their head from hitting the ground. The bus back to Xela was filled with the sound of birds chirping. Definitely cool to see!

8 May 2017

I'm in Spanish school this week! Living with a family about 5 minutes from the school. We don't have a working shower at the moment but other than that things are working out well.

7 May 2017

The Minerva Market is something else. Smells of tacos, tortillas, pupusas and other delicious things mixed with the revolting smell of garbage, and if that doesn't take your appetite away, maybe the raw meat laying in the sun will. It's an experience forsure.

6 May 2017

Fuentes Giorginas. Mayans often use this site for traditional rituals. The hot springs are heated by the volcanos! Rainy and misty but it added to the ambiance.

5 May 2017

In a place called Xela now aka Quetzaltenago. 4.5 hours of switchbacks through the mountains, don't think there was more than 10m of straight road! Hot springs tomorrow!

3 May 2017

Staying in Guatemala City longer than expected because there is an international Graffiti festival going on!
10/10 wouldn't recommend

2 May 2017

Exploring Guatemala City on a "Tomato Bus"
Some street Tortillas for dinner