Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lake Atitlan Villages: Santiago

After all the crazy events of last week, we decided that we needed an outing over the weekend to get our minds on something else.  Emily, who teaches at AMA with Jason invited us to join her on an adventure across the lake.  We were happy to have company and since she's bilingual that took all the stress out of our trip :)

We took the publico boat (which means you pay 25 Quetzals one-way; about $3. Native people pay only 10 Q) and joined about 20 others in a journey across the lake, to a village situated on a lagoon located between two  volcanoes.  
As is typical for the season, it rained on our way over, but then as we arrived, it cleared up and the sun was shining for a little while. Gorgeous! If you're claustrophobic, this boat ride in the rain would not be for you as tarps come down to cover all the windows. 

We meandered off the main drag and came upon more typical homes .... cinder block, tin and sometimes a piece of plywood.

These guys amaze me! One -- how beautiful is that huge pack of avacadoes???  Two, how crazy is it that they have the full weight of their pack on their forehead!!?!!?

Down at another, small dock ... the typical boats for the area.  These remind me of an original version of the paddle boards that are so popular in the US now.  Usually we see men standing in these, paddling around the edges of the lake.  We got to watch two men struggle to get under their large packs of wood ... once again with the weight from the entire pack strapped to their foreheads.  Crazy!  And, how do you like the woman balancing her washtub on her head?  This is how everything is carried here.  Today, I saw a woman with a sack of potatoes draped over her head.  I've wanted to try to learn this skill, but don't want the locals to think I'm mocking them ...

The main dock was so beautiful as we prepared to leave.  Boats only run until 4:30 or 5:00, so unless you want to spend the night, you make sure you're back with plenty of time to spare!

One last picture before taking our boat back to Pana.

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