Latin America, it just grabs you by the balls, dude.
Specifically speaking, Guatemala. Antigua, Guatemala.
The city is as hipster as Brooklyn but not as expensive or as pretentious (sorry, New Yorkers).
Everything is extremely straightforward, initially; but from the diverse cuisine to the live music that echoes in the bars and discotechs, it is hard to believe that you are in such a place as Guatemala. Upon arrival it becomes easy to be swept away by the mass amount of, well, nothingness.
But wait! Is that the Golden Arches? And another McDonald’s… And another one… Where am I?
In the midst of riding through the non-traffic-law-having and moderately chaotic streets of Guatemala City you will catch the sights, sounds, and even the smells of this intriguing country. There is everything from diesel exhaust to the exuberantly colorful chicken buses. It is an ease to find bustling markets, and like mentioned above, plenty of fast food joints. But shortly after you leave the city, via the Pan-American Highway, the landscape and diverse topography take hold. Mountains, volcanoes, seedy highway roads with slow moving semi-trucks – distractions all demanding complete human attention.
The ride could be comparable to going through the Appalachian Mountains in the United States – swaying through the curvy and vertical terrain in areas such as Tennessee. That is to say if it wasn’t for the fact that this is Guatemala and the country has an astoundingly unique draw to it.
This is Latin America – possibly at its best.
About an hour from the hustle and bustle of Guatemala City comes the region of Antigua.
Upon arrival the aesthetic scene can be equated to stepping back in time. There are low roofed buildings with cracking paint, a palate of brilliantly colored tiendas, and rough stone streets. Streets that may be as wise as your great grandfather— they’ve seen some stuff, man!
Along with the eclectic mix of locals and tourists it might be an understatement to say a person could get lost here. Hey, don’t take my word for it. Just ask those bearded ex-pats serving up mezcal at the abundance of local bars. While combining modern capitalist refugees and wanders, Antigua may just have you at a loss and feeling rather befuddled; however, this township can quickly feel like home.
At somewhere near 4,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by a few active volcanoes, who wouldn’t want to spend their days in an exquisitely charming municipality like this? I know that if there is a time I don’t come home from work, well, you know where to find me.
Hopelessly lost somewhere trying to horribly dance salsa.