Beyond NY Christian Grotewold

Holiday In Guatemala Pt. 2

Hello everyone and welcome to the second part of my Holiday in Guatemala post. Since this will be my last post before we get down to real business again, I have decided to give you a fun view of how I spent my New Year’s Eve.

My mom, sister and I at Antigua.

My entire family and I went to Antigua Guatemala to welcome the New Year. Antigua means “old” in Spanish, and, as you might have guessed, it is the old city of Guatemala. The city was moved from its original place due to a flood that occurred because of the Volcan de Agua (water volcano). Now, Antigua is a tourist attraction and is also a place where you can go and relax and learn about Guatemalan culture. My favorite thing to do here is buy all the Guatemalan candy, especially Canilla de Leche and Cocadas (these are made of milk and coconut).

On December 31st, my parents, cousins, uncles, sister and I all went to where Antigua parties the best during New Year’s, La Calle Del Arco. In this street, you could see everything from street performers to giant wood walking dolls, all within the culture. The last celebration we saw was called “La Corrida del Toro” (the bull’s run) — men inside carton-made bulls attached to fireworks running around the street. This is a spectacular thing to see, but quite dangerous too.

Corrida del Toro

By 10 p.m. we decided to go back to our house to spend midnight with the rest of the family. It was fun seeing how the younger cousins all lit fireworks and the older ones enjoyed a good glass of what we call Indita (a Guatemalan beverage). Once 2013 was here, the whole sky was covered with amazing fireworks, and everyone was hugging each other, wishing them a happy new year.

Another interesting thing I did while still at Antigua was that my family and I went to a coffee making estate. This was a very interesting excursion, where we got to learn how the famous Guatemalan coffee is made. I had absolutely no idea the whole process of making coffee, and I was quite shocked to see the complexity of it. By the end of the tour, we got to try some of the high-quality coffee made at that estate, and realized that the process is definitely worth the cup.

At the coffee estate

Spending the holidays with my family back in Guatemala makes me realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing family and a home filled with colorful traditions. I would definitely encourage anyone who would like to plan a trip to Guatemala; it is a trip worth doing to the country of the eternal spring.