Tour of Antigua, Guatemala

August 14th, 2017

tour-of-antigua-guatemala

On our way from Guatemala City to Panajachel, we stopped for an hour to go on a walking tour of Antigua, Guatemala. I have always loved this city because of its antique architecture and ruins. When I was a little girl, I used to go on camping trips with Pioneer Girls here. I’ve been to leather factories, candle-making shops, and many other tours when I was a kid. It was fun to take my husband and kids on a quick tour, walking around this majestic city.

Video Tour of Antigua, Guatemala

Here are some of the highlights of our walking tour of Antigua:

Each of the antique buildings has a Spanish style, with lots of ornate carvings on the sides of the buildings. Most of the buildings are white, but there is at least one that is a stunning yellow color, which I included at the top of this post. The buildings always have multiple levels with arched windows.

antigua-building

Horses and carriages still clop down the cobbled streets, which are filled with colorful dust in different patterns on Easter every year. Parades go down these streets whenever the people are holding a festival.

antigua-guatemala-building

The center square has trimmed trees, grass, and park benches, and the ambiance of the city is laid back and relaxed (although not so much as Panajachel, where we are visiting next).

antigua-horse-and-carriage

It was so nostalgic to see this city, after not having seen it for over 20 years.

I looked at the black bars on each arched window. Security dictates that windows will be broken if there are not iron bars over them. This is true throughout Guatemala.

antigua-people

I loved looking down each street. Surprises meet the eye with old lanterns lining a street, or a ruin around a corner. The gates, doors, and entryways are unique, too, and anyone who enjoys architecture would love Antigua, Guatemala!

guatemala-antigua

Did you miss our previous Guatemala Adventure posts?

  1. Our Guatemala Adventure
  2. Río Dulce Boat Ride
  3. Tour of San Felipe Castle, Guatemala
  4. Tour of Tikal, Guatemala
  5. Tour of Flores, Guatemala
  6. Tour of Cobán, Guatemala
  7. Coffee Plantation Zipline Tour
  8. Meeting Our Compassion Child in Guatemala
  9. SETECA Seminary, Guatemala

If you don’t want to miss any posts in my Guatemala Adventure series, follow my Missionary Kid page. And if you love to read about missionary kids, buy the book!

SETECA Seminary, Guatemala

August 7th, 2017

SETECA-seminary-guatemala

When I visited SETECA Seminary in Guatemala, I was astounded to see that nothing had changed in 25 years! My father was a professor of Greek and New Testament theology at this seminary (Semenario Teológico Centroamericano) for 20 years, which is why I grew up as a missionary kid.

Yes, I’m telling you there is a time warp in this location, as everything looks almost identical to when I was a little girl, going to Pioneer Girls here. I show you in the video the exact room where we had Pioneer Girls:

When we first drove up to SETECA, one of my dad’s former students was in my van, because he was the translator for the Compassion child visit. His name was German, and he told the gatekeepers that my dad was Dr. Gerardo Laursen. They looked at my face and exclaimed with joy, as they could see the resemblance of my face to my dad’s face. My dad was a well-loved professor here!

seteca-outside

The parking lot is slightly different, as they seem to have added another building where the previous parking lot used to be. Now cars park along the tree-lined road, and even on top of the basketball court, where we used to shoot baskets!

seteca-parking-lot

The wood and iron benches are identical along the walls of the corridors of the double courtyard inside the main classroom area of the seminary. The floor is the checkerboard black and red squares that I remember so well.

seteca-benches

The well-manicured lawns are lined with neatly clipped hedges and tropical flowers.

seteca-grass

A large, multi-story building contains a library and the offices of the professors. I remember my dad had his office on the third floor, all the way to the end of the hall, on the left. It was strange to go up the gray pebbled-looking steps, remembering how I used to skip steps as a little girl on the way up to my dad’s office.

seteca-library

Everywhere I went, memories came flooding back. Even the laundry room had memories, as I looked at the pilas where students still washed some clothes by hand. (Washers and dryers line the walls as well, but I still see lots of pilas–large flat sinks for scrubbing clothes.)

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to stay at SETECA with my family after all these years!

Stay tuned for our next installment of our Guatemala Adventure series, and like our MK page to not miss any posts!

Meeting our Compassion Child in Guatemala

July 31st, 2017

meeting-our-compassion-child-in-guatemala

The highlight of our trip to me was visiting our Compassion child in Guatemala. That’s saying a lot, because the nostalgia of seeing all the places where I grew up was wonderful and healing to my soul. The entire trip helped me to remember who I am, and that God has been good to me.

compassion-child-sister

We traveled from Cobán to Salamá, where our Compassion child lives with her sister, her mother, and her blind grandmother. They all live together in one small cinder block house, as you can see in the video:

We stuffed everyone into our van and went up a steep mountain. The dirt road was full of rocks and potholes. I was glad it wasn’t raining, as the van would have gotten stuck in the mud. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, we looked out over the city of Salamá. It was truly beautiful!

Salama-Guatemala

We visited the school where the Compassion child gets Christian instruction. It was fun to see the other children waving at our camera. You can see the poverty of that area even in the school.

compassion-school

Our Compassion child’s favorite food is fried chicken, so we went to Pollo Campero, as you can see in the video. This is a famous Guatemalan fast food place, and one of my favorite places to eat!

compassion-van

We also went to a nearby town so that we could take a ride on a tuc-tuc. I filmed the ride around San Juan, and the child with her sister were thrilled!

tuc-tuc

We gave the Compassion child a backpack full of goodies: a Spanish Bible, a dress, a basketball, a journal, some stickers, a bookmark, a sketch book, a hair brush, a toothbrush, hair clips, etc. Her mother was truly grateful and choked up with tears.

compassion-child-gifts

I had plenty of time to get to know the mother of the child, and I love her so much! She is a Christian who believes in answered prayer.

If you would like to support a child and make a difference in someone’s life, I highly recommend Compassion International.

Don’t miss any posts in my Guatemala Adventure series! Follow my Missionary Kid page to see more videos and pictures from my recent trip!

Coffee Plantation Zipline Tour, Guatemala

July 27th, 2017

coffee-plantation-zipline-tour

Yes, you heard that right–my family went on a Coffee Plantation Zipline Tour in Guatemala! I had been wanting to go on a coffee plantation tour, and I had no idea that someone had thought to add a fun zipline to take in the natural beauty of the plantation itself! There were at least four ziplines that my entire family enjoyed. The final one took the passengers over a lagoon!

We found this tour when we googled activities in the Cobán area, since we had canceled our trip to Huehuetenango, and we didn’t know the sights of the area. This place is called Coffee Tour Chicoj, and it is found 10 minutes away from Cobán.

coffee-berry

Video of our Coffee Plantation Zipline Tour!

The coffee tour started with a guide who explained how coffee arrived in Guatemala and how it was grown from seed in the plantation. When seeds are grown, they get transplanted, as you can see in the video. Each stage has a special name in the process:

Yes, my husband actually filmed zipping along a couple of the ziplines! Ha! He could have easily dropped the video camera, but we decided to take the chance to film it, and I’m glad we did, because now we can relive the ride itself and give others a flavor for how beautiful it was!

zipline-through-coffee-field

As I zipped through the air over the coffee trees and tropical foliage, I felt the gentle breeze of the ride against my face. For me, ziplining is one of the most relaxing activities in nature, reminding me of when I was a child and flew as high as I could through the air on swings. I have always loved feeling like a bird, and this zipline tour was no exception.

zipline-coffee

A couple of my kids were a bit nervous about the first zipline, but when they realized that they were secure and didn’t need to hold up their weight but just enjoy the ride like a swing, they looked forward to the next ziplines. All of my kids loved it, even my daughter.

Guatemala-zipline-for-kids

The natural beauty of the area is typical of Guatemala, which is why I consider the country to be one of the most gorgeous countries of the world.

coffee-plantation-guatemala

After the zipline tour, we got to see the factory where they process the coffee. Only the best first-class coffee gets produced and shipped to the United States, while the coffee that isn’t good enough gets dried and put back into the soil. The tour guide told us that what they consider garbage is what is used for instant coffee.

coffee-tour

At the end of the tour we sat down, and they gave each of us the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life! It was definitely the freshest cup I’ve ever had!

I highly recommend this Coffee Plantation Zipline Tour to anyone who is visiting Guatemala and is in the Cobán area. Stay tuned for out next installment of our Guatemala Adventure series, and like our MK page to not miss any posts!

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