Subject: FW: Day 1 Antigua March 26, 2015
This is my third time to Guatemala. The first was in the early Seventies. The capital seems to have become more affluent, just since my last trip less than ten years ago. Signs of the corporate global economy are everywhere: Walmart, Pizza Hut (the taxi driver from the airport to Antigua says Pizza Hut pizzas are the very best,) Macdonalds, Burger King, Toyota, Xerox, and many more. Traffic in Guatemala City came to a standstill due to a big event at the zoo. The air is filled with large particles of smog debris that smack you in the face when you open your car window.
Thankfully we sped up into cleaner air once out of the city, but billboards line the highway to Antigua. In a country where Mayans are a majority, the ads tout a very European image.
Finally in Antigua, after settling in at the Hotel Hermano Pedro, I took a climb up onto the roof to see views of the entire city. The hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Antigua, just a couple of blocks off the main square. It is said to have been owned by Doña Leonor, daughter of Pedro Alverado, a conquistadore known as the “Conquerer of Guatemala.”