Me Encanta Guatemala

The welcoming people, lush rainforests, and picturesque landscapes of Guatemala won our hearts as we enjoyed a long and beautiful trip through the Garifuna village of Livingston, up the Rio Dulce River Canyon to the Ak’Tenamit boarding school/community development organization, and around the Mayan ruins at Quirigua (pronounced kitty gwah).

The coast of Guatemala is breathtaking, and the Rio Dulce river canyon looks like something out of Jurassic Park.

Our tour guide, Mary Ann — her id badge actually said “Maria Anita”, but I guess Mary Ann is easier for us gringos — was very knowledgeable about Mayan history and culture, and she even taught us to read Mayan numbers and do Mayan math. Scholars believe that the Maya must have used both fingers and toes when they first started thinking about numbers because they came up with a base 20 numeric system instead of our western base 10 system (the Greeks forgot about the toes). If base 20 alone doesn’t knock your socks off, consider that they only need three symbols to write any number. All the math nerds in the house holla back!

Things grow big in Guatemala. Check out tiny Shannon next to this really big tree:

But it’s not just the trees that are large and in charge in Guatemala. We couldn’t quite decide whether this golden orb spider had caught a small bat or a hobbit in its web.

We were already pretty much head over heels in love with Guatemala by the time the ship was ready to set sail, but just to make sure to push us over the top all the local tourism groups came out to play drums, dance, and send us happily on our way.

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