During the final Saturday of our trip, we visited the National Theater in Guatemala City and observed a ballet rendition of Don Quijote de la Mancha. My friend Hugo was one of the dancers. I knew Hugo many years ago during the mission, though we were never companions.
Outside the theater stands a larger-than-life bust of Miguel Angel Asturias, a native Guatemalan who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1967.
During our visit to the theater, we met my former mission president Julio Alvarado and his wife Blanca.
During the second portion of our trip, we stayed in the beautiful and historic city of Antigua Guatemala. The photograph above shows the view from our hotel room.
This ruined church was next door to our hotel.
Vendors near the Artisan's Market.
A city ordinance mandates that all buildings in Antigua maintain the original Spanish colonial style. As a result, we encountered fast food outlets, like McDonald's and Burger King pictured above, built in the old style. In this regard, Antigua is a city of contradictions. It keeps an old, traditional exterior, and yet we found more modern conveniences in Antigua than in most other places in Guatemala.
A mime in the city park.
Dakota and Rhonda in the central park.
Another view of the cathedral.
Antigua Guatemala was once the capitol city, but it was destroyed several times by major earthquakes. As a result, the capitol was moved to its present location in Guatemala. City. But also, the entire city is filled with the ruins of churches, cathedrals, and convents from the 1500s.
Inside the catacombs of a ruined church.
Antigua is home to Europeans and Americans, along with Guatemalans.
This video shows a few sights and sounds from the Thursday market in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, followed by a handful of still photographs from our trip. At this point, I will refrain from making any commentary because I don't really know what I was seeing. From the archetypal perspective, many of the sights seemed familiar, but I really can't say that I know anything about the specific manifestations of culture in that place. It was fascinating to me, but largely mysterious and unknown.
After visiting Cerro El Baúl, Dakota sang for Hermana María Magdalena and her mother. As always, his performance was quite moving. The spirit reminded me just how much love and gratitude I feel for my beautiful friends in Guatemala.
All of Dakota's performances were heartfelt and beautiful.
I only regret that Lourdes was not able to hear the song. I would have loved to get a picture of the four generations of women in their family.